Mandy Barnett discusses her tribute album “I Can’t Stop Loving You: The Songs of Don Gibson” and sings three of Gibson’s songs and two Christmas favorites at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Guitarist Harold Bradley joins Barnett for the conversation and performance, recorded December 23, 2013.
A vocalist with a reverence for jazz music and classic country, Barnett befriended Gibson shortly after the release of her debut album in 1996. Before his death in 2003, Gibson asked her to consider recording an album of his songs. A decade later, she fulfilled her promise to Gibson, recording “Oh Lonesome Me,” “Sweet Dreams,” and other classics, backed by some of the legendary musicians who appeared on the originals.
Asked about Gibson’s songwriting style, she says, “Melodically they’re not challenging but they go somewhere and there’s a lot of space. The words are really simple but they’re profound. But I think it’s the fact that they give you a lot of room to sing and to emote. Don was sort of a sad character. He wrote a lot of beautiful sad songs.”
A native of Crossville, Tennessee, Mandy Barnett recalls her childhood interest in performing, with stages ranging from Dollywood to an area flea market. She also reflects on her experiences portraying Patsy Cline in the theatrical production “Always...Patsy Cline,” and her studio work with producer Owen Bradley.
The program’s set list includes “Oh Lonesome Me,” “A Legend in My Time,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” and the title track to her 2010 holiday collection, “Winter Wonderland.”
Explore the Museum’s public programs: https://countrymusichalloffame.org/plan-your-visit/exhibits-activities/public-programs/
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