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Crystal Gayle

One of the most popular and widely recognized female country singers of her era, Crystal Gayle supported her trademark, nearly floor-length hair with a supple voice, a flair for ballads, and a crossover-friendly country-pop style that netted her the occasional mainstream hit. Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, KY, in 1951; her older sister was future superstar Loretta Lynn, though Lynn had already left home by the time Brenda was born. The family moved to Wabash, IN, when Brenda was four, and she started singing along with country and pop songs on the radio at a young age. Inspired in part by Lynn's success, Brenda learned guitar and started performing folk songs in high school, also singing backing vocals in her brother's band. Lynn encouraged her younger sister and started bringing her out on tour for a few weeks each summer. Lynn's label, Decca, signed the young singer as soon as she was done with high school, but suggested a name change so as to avoid confusion with labelmate Brenda Lee. Lynn suggested the name Crystal, inspired by the Krystal hamburger chain, and Brenda adopted her middle name to come up with Crystal Gayle.

Gayle's debut single was 1970's "I've Cried (The Blues Right Out of My Eyes)"; done in a style very similar to Lynn's, it reached the country Top 40. Far from encouraging Gayle to develop her own style, Decca pushed for more "little Loretta" records, and Lynn actually wrote some of her early singles. Unfortunately, this approach failed to establish Gayle in her own right, even with regular appearances on Jim Ed Brown's television show The Country Place. Frustrated, she parted ways with Decca and signed with United Artists in 1974, where she was teamed with producer Allen Reynolds. Reynolds offered Gayle the creative freedom she wanted, and she began to experiment with her style and phrasing en route to her own distinctive approach. Her first-ever album, titled simply Crystal Gayle, was released in 1974, and the following year she landed her first Top Ten country hit, "Wrong Road Again." In 1976, "I'll Get Over You" became the first of her 17 number one country singles. Reynolds, feeling that Gayle was poised for a larger breakthrough, encouraged her to record the jazz-flavored pop ballad "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," which he felt sure had crossover potential. He was right -- not only did the song hit number one on the country charts in 1977, it also climbed to number two on the pop side, garnered substantial international airplay, and won Gayle a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal. Plus, the accompanying album, We Must Believe in Magic, became the first by a female country artist ever to go platinum.

Now a bona fide star, Gayle followed her breakthrough success with a string of hits that lasted for approximately the next decade. Before the '70s closed, she scored several more number one country hits: "You Never Miss a Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye)" (1977), "Ready for the Times to Get Better" (1978), "Talking in Your Sleep" (1978; also a pop Top 20 hit), and "Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For" (1979); plus, 1979's "Half the Way," her first single for new label Columbia, was a number two country hit and also reached the pop Top 20. She kept on scoring as the '80s dawned; 1980 brought two chart-toppers in "If You Ever Change Your Mind" and "It's Like We Never Said Goodbye," 1981 another in "Too Many Lovers," and 1982 her first number one duet, "You and I," which was recorded with Eddie Rabbitt and became her second Top Ten pop hit (it also inaugurated her tenure with Elektra/Warner). Gayle hit number one three times in 1983 ("Baby, What About You," Rodney Crowell's "Till I Gain Control Again," "Our Love Is on the Faultline") and twice more in 1984 ("The Sound of Goodbye," "Turning Away"), and began to cross over to the adult contemporary charts with regularity as well.

Gayle's last country number ones came in 1986 with "Cry" and the smooth Gary Morris duet "Makin' Up for Lost Time," after which she -- rather abruptly -- all but disappeared from the charts. She did continue to record, reuniting with Allen Reynolds for the 1990 Capitol set Ain't Gonna Worry and cutting specialty projects for smaller labels thereafter. She recorded two gospel albums during the '90s, Someday and He Is Beautiful, and in 1999 completed a tribute project, Crystal Gayle Sings the Heart & Soul of Hoagy Carmichael. In the meantime, she ran a shop in Nashville devoted to fine jewelry and (naturally) crystal. Gayle opened the new millennium with 2000's In My Arms, an album of children's songs. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

tamyabonet2
Pandora, please fix this. I tried to make a station of Sylvia Pillow talk Robinson not Sylvia the country singer, although I like her too but for now I wanted to hear the other Sylvia, Please fix this.
I wonder if this song refers to Eddie rabbit.
quit sniveling greg she is good
Isnt she beautiful;l? wonderfull voice and for real?
I like when you sang Make A Wish that Mr.Paul Todd wrote & you sing it .
jmm799
How long is her hair?
jrtyrr
I just go crazy to see how long her hair is. WOW.
Wy is twhen you create a statio they play everythin but what you wnted to hear??? Really sad stuff.
Crystal is not only a beautiful singer, beautiful on the outside, she's very beautiful on the inside....Sh e is the whole package. I known her, her whole life, she's part of my family. When your family can say that about you, you know its true----fami l i e s are very hard on you, as a rule. Love you Crystal! Diana
I remember her very long hair in the '80s. I don't know how she ended up on my D'Angelo station though. o_O
https://www. f a c e b o o k . c o m / 2 2 2 C r y s t a l
No one can deliver a song like she can
Her Music is timeless/ her music is still as up to date as any of her contemparies singing today. It is a shame she ritired so earlier in her carreer.
kathydurst
Saw her at the Houston Rodeo years ago and loved it!! Her hair was streaming out the back of the convertible she rode in on!
I LOVE DON'T IT MAKE MY BROWM EYES BLUE. IT'S CLASSIC.
I like Don't my brown eyes blue I have brown eyes
brivera24
Yep, there's no sunshine when he goes away. But I've learned to cope being by myself. I like this song, but don't like the singer and style of music. Like it better by other artists.
I grew up listening to Crystal.She' s 1 of my fav women singers.Neve r dreamed I'd get to see her live-Figured she'd retired. FOR YOU FANS---She does 50-60 shows a year-go see her before she does stop. PROMISE YOU WON'T REGRET IT!!!!She put on fantastic show w/great music & lots of humor. My hubby,Todd took me to see her for 12th year annivesary. TOTALLY WONDERFUL! She came out & met her fans,signed autographs,g a v e hugs and took photos with us. Very plesant lady wantin to please the fans
kristypendry
I saw her in concert tonight 7/29/09. She was incredible, her voice is still amazing. Loved every single minute of it!
I always marvelled at her hair length.
poetjdaniel
What can I add? It's Crystal Gayle!
Crystal, remember me when you're ready to love life!
Crystal Gayle is such a great female singer,ever song she ever recorded has been great..one of the very best...
dmkamin
I have always love her song "Don't it make my Brown Eyes Blue"
MY FAVORITE CRYSTAL GAYLE SONG IS "HERE I GO ONCE AGAIN WITH MY SUITCASE IN MY HAND"
DOES ANYBODY KNOW WHERE I COULD FIND IT?
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR MORE OF HER MUSIC
I have always loved Crystal Gayle. My Fav song was playing when my family had to leave our home when I was 13 and something in her voice helped me although I admit I cried to the song.
She's a classic!
smith9475
"when i dream"was playing when i left my comment about my favorite song . she's beautiful and she sings beautiful too.
smith9475
this is my very favorite song by crystal gayle. please play it often.
Cant say enough about Crystal! What a wonderful gift she was given and lucky for us she decided to share it with the world. Patrick
partobe@yaho o . c o m
Crystal, looks and sings just as beautiful as Loretta,and she has the most beautiful hair to,I could crawl all up in that Hair,I LOVE you Crystal,but Loretta an you crystal are goin' to have to share me,an I'm willin'.!!!! L O V E Jack.texcowb o y 4 8 1 2 3 4 @ y a h o o . c o m

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