The Full Wiki

Crystal Gayle: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crystal Gayle

Background information
Birth name Brenda Gail Webb
Born January 9, 1951 (1951-01-09) (age 59)
Origin Paintsville, Kentucky, U.S.
Genres Country pop
Occupations Singer, actress, producer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar
Years active 1970 – present
Labels Decca
United Artists
Warner Brothers
Associated acts Loretta Lynn, Peggy Sue, Eddie Rabbitt, Gary Morris, Fizz, Willie Nelson,
Website Crystal Gayle Official Website

Crystal Gayle (born Brenda Gail Webb on January 9, 1951) is an American country music singer best known for a series of country-pop crossover hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" (Crystal has blue eyes) and the song "Half The Way". An award-winning singer, she accumulated 18 No. 1 country hits during the 1970s and 1980s. She is also famous for her nearly floor-length hair and was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world in 1983. She is the younger sister of singer Loretta Lynn (16 years younger) and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. Crystal Gayle has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, near Loretta Lynn's star.


Biography and career

Brenda Gail Webb was born to a poor family in (Butcher Hollow) Paintsville, Kentucky. The youngest of 8 children, she was the only one born in a hospital. Her family moved to Wabash, Indiana when she was four. She started singing along with country and pop songs on the radio, and though shy as a child, she was encouraged by her mother to sing for visitors to the house. Inspired by her sister Loretta Lynn's performance she decided to learn guitar and sing backup in her brothers' folk band. While she was still in high school, Webb began to tour with Loretta Lynn for a few weeks each summer.

After graduating from Wabash High School, Brenda Gail Webb signed on with Decca Records, her sister's record label. However, since there was already a star named "Brenda Lee" with Decca Records, Decca asked Webb to change her first name. It was her older sister Loretta Lynn who suggested the name 'Crystal' for her singing career (after noticing a sign for the Krystal hamburger restaurant chain). So Webb took the stage name 'Crystal Gayle'.[1]

1970 – 1977: Country beginnings

Gayle's debut single, I've Cried (The Blue Right Out of My Eyes), was released in 1970 peaking at No. 23 on Billboard's Country singles chart. The song was written by Loretta Lynn and performed in a style very similar to her sister's. Decca pushed for more records styled like Lynn's with Lynn actually writing more of her early singles. Unfortunately, this approach failed to establish Gayle in her own right despite regular appearances on Jim Ed Brown's television show The Country Place.[2] She did not return to the Country Top 40 until 1974's Restless (No. 39).

Frustrated, she parted ways with Decca and signed with United Artists in 1974 where she teamed with producer Allen Reynolds. Reynolds offered Gayle the creative freedom she wanted helping her develop her own distinctive style and phrasing.[1] Her first album, Crystal Gayle, was released in 1974 yielding her first Top Ten country hit, Wrong Road Again (No. 6). By 1976, Gayle amassed the first of her 18 Number One country singles, I'll Get Over You,[2] which also became her first single to reach Billboard's Hot 100 (No. 71) and Adult Contemporary chart (No. 40). She scored two more Top 2 country hits, "You Never Miss A Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye)" (No. 1) and "I'll Do It All Over Again" (No. 2), in 1977 before achieving the greatest success of her career.

1977 – 1989: Crossover

Believing Gayle was poised for a larger breakthrough, Reynolds encouraged her to record the jazz-flavored ballad, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue". The song became the most successful of Gayle's career spending four weeks atop the country chart. The song became her biggest hit on the Hot 100 (No. 2), peaked at No. 4 AC and gained considerable airplay worldwide. Gayle earned a Grammy award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and the song also earned a Grammy as Country Song of the Year for its writer, Richard Leigh.[1] The song helped her album, We Must Believe in Magic, become the first by a female country artist to be certified platinum. She toured worldwide, including Britain with Kenny Rogers and China with Bob Hope, where she became the first person to tape a performance on the Great Wall of China.

After the success of "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue", Gayle and her record producers leaned more toward crossover music with each new release. For the next ten years, she would have her greatest success. Gayle was awarded "Female Vocalist of the Year" for two years by the Country Music Association Awards (1977 and 1978) and for three years by the Academy of Country Music (1976 – 1977 and 1979).

Gayle remade a previously recorded track from her Crystal album, Ready For The Times To Get Better, as her first single after "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue". Although the single became her fourth No. 1 Country hit, it failed to reach the Pop Top 40 (No. 52). Gayle's next album, When I Dream, yielded three Top 3 Country hits - the No. 1 songs "Talking In Your Sleep" and "Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For" as well as the No. 3 title track. "Talking In Your Sleep" returned Gayle to the Pop Top 20 (No. 18). Gayle left United Artists for Columbia Records in 1979 for her next album, Miss The Mississippi. She returned again to the Pop Top 20 with that album's first single, "Half The Way" (No. 15 Pop, No. 2 Country, No. 9 AC) [1] which became her last solo Top 20 Pop hit.

Gayle started the 1980s with another No. 1 country hit, "It's Like We Never Said Goodbye" (No. 63 Pop, No. 17 AC). This song led a historic Top 5 on the Billboard Country Singles chart on which the Top 5 positions were all held by women:

  1. Crystal Gayle ("It's Like We Never Said Goodbye")
  2. Dottie West ("A Lesson In Leavin'")
  3. Debby Boone ("Are You On The Road To Lovin' Me Again")
  4. Emmylou Harris ("Beneath Still Waters")
  5. Tammy Wynette ("Two Story House" with George Jones)

When her 1980 song "If You Ever Change Your Mind" was Grammy-nominated in the Best Country Vocal Performance category, the singer found herself competing (same category) with Sissy Spacek who was nominated for title song from Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), the acclaimed biopic in which Spacek portrayed Gayle's real-life sister Loretta Lynn. Gayle's next album, Hollywood, Tennessee, was her most blatant attempt at country crossover. The album's A-side, "Hollywood", was pop while the album's B-side, "Tennessee", was country. The album's three singles all reached the Country Top 10, but only the first single, "The Woman In Me," reached the Hot 100 (No. 76). Gayle's singles, however, frequently charted Top 20 on the AC chart throughout the 1980s.

In 1982, Gayle worked on the Francis Ford Coppola film, One from the Heart, recording songs for the movie's soundtrack with Tom Waits. She then switched record labels again to Elektra Records. She recorded a duet, "You And I", with Elektra labelmate Eddie Rabbitt for his Radio Romance album. The duet quickly ascended to No. 1 on the Country charts, returned Gayle to the Pop Top 10 (No. 7) and became her biggest AC hit ever (No. 2). Her first Elektra album, True Love, surprisingly excluded this duet. It did produce three more No. 1 country hits - "Til I Gain Control Again," "Our Love Is On The Faultline" (No. 23 AC) and "Baby, What About You" (No. 83 Pop, No. 9 AC).

After Elektra Records was folded into Warner Bros. Records in 1983, Gayle released her next album, Cage The Songbird, which spawned two more No. 1 Country hits - "The Sound Of Goodbye" and "Turning Away" - and two other Top 5 Country hits - "I Don't Wanna Lose Your Love" (No. 2) and "Me Against The Night" (No. 4). "The Sound Of Goodbye" became her final entry on the Hot 100 (No. 84) and Top 10 AC hit (No. 10) to date. In 1985, she released her next album, Nobody Wants To Be Alone, which contained two Top 5 Country hits - the title track (No. 3) and "A Long And Lasting Love" (No. 5). Later that year, she teamed with Gary Morris to record a duet for the soundtrack to the Dallas television series. The song, "Makin' Up For Lost Time (The Dallas Lovers' Song)," reached No. 1 Country, but became Gayle's last AC chart appearance (No. 36) to date.

Her 1986 album, Straight To The Heart, began promisingly with two more No. 1 Country singles - "Cry" (a remake of the Johnnie Ray classic) and the title track. These songs, however, would become the last of Gayle's 18 No. 1 Country singles. She reunited with Gary Morris in 1987 to record the album, What If We Fall In Love, which would yield another theme from a television soap opera, Another World (No. 4). Gayle guest-starred on the show as herself, a friend of the character Felicia Gallant, who was menaced by a serial killer known as the "Sin Stalker." Gayle and Morris performed the theme at the Daytime Emmy Awards and the song was used as the show's theme until March 1996.

"Another World" became Gayle's last Top 10 Country hit to date. As traditional Country singers such as Randy Travis and the Judds began to dominate the country airwaves in the late 1980s, the success of crossover artists like Gayle began to wane. Gayle's last charted single was 1990's "Never Ending Song Of Love" (No. 72).

1990 – present: Later career

Gayle released two more studio albums during the 1990s: Ain't Gonna Worry (1990) produced by Allen Reynolds and Three Good Reasons (1992). Both albums failed to chart and their singles all failed to reestablish Gayle at country radio. Gayle subsequently recorded several specialty projects. She released two gospel albums - Someday (1995) and He Is Beautiful (1997). In 1999, she released the tribute album, Crystal Gayle Sings The Heart And Soul Of Hoagy Carmichael.[3]. Gayle released a children's album, In My Arms, in 2000. Her most recent studio album was the 2003 standards collection, All My Tomorrows. Gayle has since released two live albums, Crystal Gayle In Concert (2005) and Live! An Evening With Crystal Gayle (2007).

In the early years of the new millennium, Gayle co-wrote and recorded "Midnight in the Desert", a haunting Southwestern song for late-night radio host Art Bell.

In January 2007, Gayle became involved in the hunt for fugitive Christopher Daniel Gay. Gay escaped from custody at an Interstate 95 welcome center near Hardeeville, South Carolina and made his way to Tennessee where he stole Gayle's tour bus. Gay drove the bus from Whites Creek, Tennessee to the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, parking the bus in a VIP spot next to NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Jeff Gordon. Gay was arrested the following day and the bus was returned to Gayle.[4]

Gayle is touring the U.S. with Larry Gatlin and Andy Cooney.

Gayle was ranked No. 33 in a 2002 CMT countdown of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music. She was awarded "Best Female Entertainer" in 2007 by the Second Annual American Entertainment Magazine Reader's Choice Awards as she continues to regularly tour the globe. In February 2008, Crystal was inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame. On October 2, 2009 , Gayle received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony in Hollywood, CA.

Gayle married her high school sweetheart, Bill Gatzimos, shortly after graduating high school. The couple have two children, Catherine and Chris, and one grandson, Elijah. Gayle's family resides in Nashville where she had her own specialty store, "Crystal's for Fine Gifts and Jewelry", which closed in August 2008.

Awards and honors

American Entertainment Magazine

  • Best Female Entertainer (2007)

American Music Awards

  • Favorite Female Country Artist (1979)
  • Favorite Female Country Artist (1980)
  • Favorite Female Country Artist (1986)
  • Favorite Female Video Artist (1986)

Academy Of Country Music Awards

  • Top New Female Vocalist (1975)
  • Top Female Vocalist (1976)
  • Top Female Vocalist (1977)
  • Top Female Vocalist (1979)

Crystal Gayle Day

  • October 2, 2009 - Hollywood, CA.

Country Music Association Awards

  • Female Vocalist Of The Year (1977)
  • Female Vocalist Of The Year (1978)

Grammy Awards

  • Best Female Country Vocal Performance (1978) - "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue"

Hollywood Walk Of Fame

  • Star # 2390 Awarded (2007) - Unveiled (2009)

Kentucky Music Hall Of Fame (2008)

Music City News

  • Most Promising Female Artist Of The Year (1975)

People Magazine

  • The 50 Most Beautiful People In The World (1983)



  1. ^ a b c d Crystal Gayle biography at Allmusic
  2. ^ a b Crystal Gayle at biography (retrieved January 24, 2007)
  3. ^ Crystal Gayle at Allmusic
  4. ^ Russell, Steven. "The Last Outlaw (The Ballad of Christopher Gay)". Maxim August 2007. pp. 102-8.
  • Flippo, Chet. (1998). "Crystal Gayle." In The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Paul Kingsbury, Ed. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 156-7.

External links

Simple English

Crystal Gayle (born Brenda Gail Webb, January 9, 1951 in Paintsville, Kentucky) is an American country singer. She had twenty one country hits in the 1970s and 1980s. She is the younger sister of singer Loretta Lynn.

Other websites

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address