GREATEST HITS TO BE RELEASED
AUGUST 28 BY CAPITOL NASHVILLE/EMI
A worldwide music star, Crystal Gayle has won audiences with her recordings, concerts and television performances for the last thirty years.
2007 marks the 30th anniversary of Gayle's chart-crossing smash, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," recognized by ASCAP as one of the ten most often performed country songs of the 20th Century.
On August 28, Capitol Nashville/EMI Music Catalog Marketing will release Crystal Gayle: Greatest Hits, a new 25-track collection of Gayle's top hits, including 21 Top 10s and 16 #1s. Three new Crystal Gayle ringtunes will also debut on August 28.
Singing came as naturally as breathing to Crystal Gayle, born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, Kentucky. Raised in the small town of Wabash, Indiana, Gayle recalls with a laugh, "My mother said I could sing before I could walk. Music was a form of entertainment. People would sit on their porches and play their guitars, mandolins, banjos, and that's what we did to pass the time."
Gayle's sister, Loretta Lynn, 19 years her senior, helped with her career development. Lynn not only helped to negotiate Gayle's first record deal, she also wrote her first single and created her new name. "When I started recording, Brenda Lee was on the same label and they didn't want two Brendas, so Loretta thought of Crystal," says Gayle. "She saw it on that Southern hamburger chain, Krystal's, although she also said it was because I was bright and shiny. I didn't care what they called me if I was going to get to record. They could have called me John."
The Lynn-penned "I have Cried (The Blue Right Out Of My Eyes)" was produced by Owen Bradley in a production that is reminiscent of his Patsy Cline masterpieces. Decca put her on the road with her sister but Gayle lasted only a week. "That was about enough," she laughs. "I think she and her husband Moony wanted me to be a part of it, but Moony wanted me to stand in a certain place on stage, she wanted me to be another place and it was, 'Okay, I need to do my own thing.'."
Gayle's career built slowly with a smattering of Top 10's and a few songs that charted in the thirties. In 1976, she had her first #1 with "I'll Get Over You," by Richard Leigh, who also wrote her signature hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue." The song, with jazz undertones, won Gayle countless accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Performance. The song also brought her widespread crossover attention when it rose to #1 on Pop charts all over the world. The album, We Must Believe In Magic, was the first album by a female country artist to reach platinum sales status. Gayle, the beautiful artist with the long hair, was suddenly an international star.
"A lot of people think I had 'Brown Eyes' right out of the box, and I don't know how I would have handled things if that had happened," says Gayle. "Having the songs build and then having a song like that was a great way for it to happen."
"Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" also marked a major shift in Gayle's career. Most of her subsequent singles through the mid-'80s reached #1 or came close on the Country charts, with many making a showing in the Pop or Adult Contemporary charts, as well.
"Ready For The Times To Get Better," the follow-up to "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," is one of Gayle's personal favorites. "I love that you can sing it about love or you can sing it about life. I like songs that you can take in different ways," she explains.
The purity of Gayle's vocals on "Talking In Your Sleep" took the song to the top of the Country chart and to #18 on the Pop chart. Her duet with Eddie Rabbitt, "You And I," reinforced the country/pop appeal of Gayle and her duet partner, another crossover artist. "Eddie had already recorded the song with his vocals and asked me to do harmony on it. But when I heard it, I told him I could do a little more than harmony if he liked," she laughs. "And it turned into a duet. It is a really special song. I love singing it and I miss being able to sing it with Eddie," she says of the artist, who passed away in 1998.
Looking back on the body of her work, it's clear that Gayle's values and motives for making music haven't strayed from the young girl who entered the business just after high school. "I don't really think about the success I have had," she says. "I enjoy singing, and having the success I have had has been the icing on the cake. It's opened so many doors. I have gotten to travel the world, I have met so many wonderful people and made so many friends, and I have been able to touch so many people with the songs."
2007 EMOL.org Music Entertainment Magazine. All rights reserved.
Music Entertainment Magazine