Scottsburg Courtfest

Country music star Crystal Gayle
to take the stage in Scottsburg

By Levi King
Staff Writer

SCOTTSBURG, Ind. (September 2005) – Crystal Gayle, the talent behind such hits as “I’ll Get Over You” and “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” is busier than ever. Gayle released a CD of Hoagy Carmichael covers in early 2000, and on last year’s album, “All My Tomorrows,” she took on American standards such as “Sentimental Journey” and “It Had to be You.”

Crystal Gayle

Photo provided

Crystal Gayle was born
in Kentucky and
raised in Indiana.

In an August telephone interview, Gayle noted that early successes allowed her to explore such musical styles outside of pure country. Gayle followed “All My Tomorrows” with a DVD, titled “Crystal Gayle in Concert.” The video features Gayle performing her classics live in a 1982 concert.
Following a recent concert tour through the British Isles, Gayle is now entertaining audiences across the United States.
“I really enjoy traveling and performing live,” Gayle said. “I had a great time in England and Ireland. I’m so blessed to get to tour abroad. I remember the first time I went to London, I was walking down the street and I heard my music playing in a store – I couldn’t believe it.”
Gayle will perform Sept. 10 at the 25th annual Scottsburg CourtFest. The festival will begin at 10 a.m. and feature live entertainment and activities throughout the day. Opening act Shirley and Tony will take the stage at 6:30 p.m. Gayle’s free concert, set for 7 p.m. at the Courthouse Square, will feature a complete lineup of bass, drums, guitar, piano and saxophone. Gayle’s sister, Peggy Sue Wells, who co-wrote the hit “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on your Mind),” will share the stage.
Gayle, who grew up in Wabash, Ind., said she is excited to return to the Hoosier state for a small town performance. “I just love Indiana. We try to get back as often as we can,” said Gayle. “I still think of it as home.”
On her last trip to the state, Gayle was honored at an Indiana Historical Society gala. The celebration recognized Gayle with the Living Legend Award, placing her in the ranks of past Hoosier honorees such as NBA great Larry Bird and author Kurt Vonnegut.
Gayle was born in Paintsville, Ky., but moved with her family to Wabash as a young girl. “The mines were all closing in Kentucky,” said Gayle. Gayle’s mother completed a correspondence program in nursing while she worked at a Wabash restaurant, then took a nursing position at a children’s home to support the family.
Gayle’s father died shortly after the move. At that time, Gayle’s sister, Loretta Lynn, was gaining success as a recording artist in Nashville, Tenn. Gayle had similar aspirations and practiced at every opportunity. “I grew up singing all different styles – in the choir, in my brothers’ bands – wherever I could sing,” Gayle said.
During her senior year in high school, Gayle traveled to Nashville to record her first song with renowned producer Owen Bradley, who had a string of hits with teenage sensation Brenda Lee and produced many of Lynn’s recordings. Gayle’s single, “I’ve Cried the Blue Right out of my Eyes,” was written by Lynn and reached the top 20 on the country charts. Gayle recorded three more singles with Bradley in the early 1970s, building on her first success.
While having Lynn as a guide through the Nashville scene was an initial advantage, escaping her shadow proved challenging. Lynn advised Gayle to pursue her own style.
“She knew that I would only be compared to her if I copied her sound,” said Gayle. “She told me ‘One Loretta is enough.’ ” The advice was good, and in the recordings that followed, Gayle forged her own distinctive identity.
Gayle’s first full-length album, produced by Allen Reynolds, yielded her first top 10 debut, “Wrong Road Again,” and her first number one, “I’ll Get Over You.”
“We Must Believe in Magic,” released in 1977, was Gayle’s fourth LP. The album was a breakthrough, largely on the success of the track, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” The song made Crystal Gayle a Grammy winner, a household name, and the first female country artist to reach platinum status. The single was a crossover hit, reaching fans outside the usual realm of country music.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have successful crossover material,” said Gayle. “It opened a lot of doors for me and for all of country music. At that time, country wasn’t the ‘preferred’ style.” “Brown Eyes” launched Gayle on television appearances and worldwide tours. Gayle’s CBS special in the mid-1970s introduced the nation to her warm vocals and ankle-length hair. She appeared with Bob Hope in the TV special “On the Road to China,” a feat she considers a career highlight to this day. “It was such an honor to travel there and work with Bob Hope,” Gayle recalled.
Gayle said she hopes to return to the studio later this year to finish recording an acoustic album. She said that while she has enjoyed recording standards lately, she wants her new project to show a personal side of her background, from her father’s Scots-Irish ancestry to her mother’s Cherokee heritage.
“Country is my roots,” said Gayle. “I don’t want anyone to forget what country is about.”

Back to September 2005 Articles.



Copyright 1999-2015, Kentuckiana Publishing, Inc.

Pick-Up Locations Subscribe Staff Advertise Contact Submit A Story Our Advertisers Columnists Archive Area Links Area Events Search our Site Home Monthly Articles Calendar of Events Kentucky Speedway Madison Chautauqua Madison Ribberfest Madison Regatta