George Jones & Barbara Mandrell Lasso CMAs With ‘I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool’

Classic Country Music Youtube

During the 1981 CMA Awards, country singer Barbara Mandrell unexpectedly teamed up with country music legend George Jones and gave her audience one unforgettable performance.

Mandrell graced the stage sporting an elegant brown suit complete with a southern fringe and tassels. She began to sing her timeless hit, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool,” surprising her audience with an impromptu duet that sent the crowd soaring with excitement.

Mandrell began to exit the stage and make her way into the audience as she yelled, “Meet me halfway, George! Come on!” Jones rose from his seat and made his way to the singer to partake in a wonderful duet of country classics and previously “uncool” music. As the two sang, Mandrell announced, “Mama, I’m singing with George Jones,” as he landed a kiss on her cheek.

As the song completed, the two hugged and participated in one last tiny peck before thanking the audience for their support and encouragement!

Mandrell released “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” on April 16, 1981, recording it just one month before!

Written by Kye Fleming and Dennis Morgan, the song also featured an uncredited guest appearance by George Jones. This is why it made perfect sense for him to join Mandrell at the CMA Awards! 

The song became a major hit for Mandrell and helped her win Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards, where she performed it! The album it was included on, Barbara Mandrell Live, became certified Gold. The album version was recorded during a live concert at the Roy Acuff Theater in Nashville, but the single released to radio was recorded in a studio.

Check out the performance below!

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