Crystal encapsulates everything the dazzling qualities of her name implies although that name came to her in quite an unusual fashion. Crystal came at the suggestion of Brenda Gayle Webb’s older sister, Loretta Lynn who knowing there was already a eBrenda Lee’ currently successful in the music industry suggested her younger sibling adopt the name eCrystal’ when she began recording.
Once re-named, her musical boundaries have since been seemingly limitless as proven by her latest much anticipated project All My Tomorrows a mood influenced collection of American standards. Songs such as Cry Me A River, Sentimental Journey, It Had To Be You, and Smile somehow reach the heights their songwriter’s must have dreamed of when piped through the beautiful chords of Crystal Gayle. These are songs any artist, loves to sing, said Crystal in a recent interview. They’ve endured to become timeless.
The blue eyed beauty from the Appalachian coal mining town of Paintsville, Kentucky would never again linger in the shadow of being Loretta’s baby sister. Drop dead beautiful and dressed in designer threads, Crystal took country music to town on her arm in the e70’s and itroduced it to mainstream audiences.
Country, folk, pop, rock en roll, Broadway show tunes, gospel,all found equal place in her heart, growing up as the youngest of eight children. Like sister Loretta, Crystal too was a coal miners daughter before she was a platinum selling singer and a worldclass entertainer.
While still in school, she signed her first recording contact. Her debut single, I’ve Cried The Blue Right Out Of My Eyes, was written by Loretta (already a star) and reached the Top 20 on the national country music charts.
Her first album project began a roll out of smash singles to come. Wrong Road Again, (her first of many hit singles with producer Allen Reynolds) became her debut Top 10 record. I’ll Get Over You, became her first #1 single. By her fourth album, We Must Believe In Magic, Crystal Gayle became the first female artist, in country music history to achieve platinum album sales. Driving the engine of the album was the song that was to become her enduring career signature song to date: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.
The glamour and the mystique of the Crystal Gayle phenomena made her an instantly in demand artist,. From symphony halls to Carnegie Hall,from the best kept stages in Las Vegas to the prestige of the London Palladium… one word Crystal crossed musical genres and oceans.
In the wake,her hit list of platinum and gold record sales was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA’s Female Vocalist Of The Year, for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for Best Female Vocal Performance, thanks to her beloved Brown Eyes _ a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy Of Country Music Awards for three of their Top Female Vocalist statuettes. As her music and her career path widened to mainstream audiences so did her accolades. She is the recipient of three American Music Awards
Always gracious and generous with her time and talents, Crystal has been awarded the coveted Celebration of Light Award in recognition of her myriad humanitarian efforts among them the Make-A-Wish Foundation (for whom she has recorded the official theme song) and the Arthritis Foundation, for whom she has served as telethon co-host for several years. Fittingly, the Celebration of Light Award was a presentation in Waterford Crystal.
One of the most fitting honors in her career came in 1999 when Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue was recognized by ASCAP as one being one of the ten most performed songs of the 20th century.
Like fine wine,time has been nothing but kind to Crystal Gayle.