Song:Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue is the biggest hit and signature song by Crystal Gayle. Though she is classified as a country singer, there are certainly pop and jazz influences in her music, especially this song. She was born Brenda Gail Webb Jan. 9, 1951 in Paintsville, KY the younger sister of country music legend Loretta Lynn. The family moved to Wabash, IN when Crystal was four years old. Crystal admired her sister but they didn't grow up together. Loretta was already a star when Crystal was a teen. Crystal did tour with her in the summer while still in high school. After graduating in 1970, Brenda Webb signed with her sister's label Decca. But her name needed to be changed because of Brenda Lee. Loretta got the name Crystal from a hamburger chain and Gail is Brenda's middle name. Crystal Gayle is born. Decca wanted Crystal Gayle to sound like Loretta Lynn. Crystal didn't like that and she left Decca for United Artists and producer Allen Reynolds in 1975. Reynolds also produced Garth Brooks. He let her develop her own singing style. Immediately she started having more success. I'll Get Over You was Crystal's first number one country hit in 1976. And follow up singles topped the country charts. I'll Get Over You was written by Richard Leigh. Reynolds visited Leigh looking for new songs. He played Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue for Reynolds and told him his publisher was going to sell it to Shirley Bassey. Reynolds wanted the song for Crystal. I guess the thinking was the song would not be appropriate for a country artist. But Reynolds knew that Crystal would love the song and wanted to sing this style of music. The other key element of the song is the piano riff by Hargus "Pig" Robbins. The record not only topped the country music charts but it reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. So now Crystal Gayle is a big crossover star. Of course there is always the criticism that she's not really a country singer but I don't think Crystal cared about that. Despite the criticism, Crystal had great success on the country charts in the 80s. And a couple of songs like Talking In Your Sleep crossed over to pop. Crystal left United Artists for Columbia in 1979 and also recorded for Elektra and Warner Bros. in the 80s. This budget comp covers her entire career. Crystal Gayle hasn't recorded for a major label since the early 90s. Her most recent CD of new music was released in 2003 though she has released live CDs. She has also recorded children's music. Crystal Gayle owns a jewelry store in Nashville and plays occasional shows at casinos. Here's Crystal Gayle performing Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue on the Grand Ole Opry TV show 1977. She is appearing on the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.