I’m pretty sure that for most of my readers, the name Crystal Gayle goes right over your heads. In terms of country music, Crystal Gayle was one of the hottest performers in the mid 70s. Her first single released in 1977 called “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” became a massive hit for Crystal. It shot up to #1 on the Country Charts, and #2 on the Top 100 Charts, and #1 in Canada! What this song was like what “Stormy Weather” did for Lena Horne. Crystal Gayle became a household name after her first single.
Her Long Hair Became Her Trademark!
Crystal was young, beautiful, reserved, and her class showed in her album covers. However, even with her (then) massive hit song, it appeared that people remembered her even more for her extremely long hair. It wasn’t before long that her hair became her trademark. I think this was a smart move, as very few female country singers kept their hair as long as Crystal. In fact, I dare to say that the majority of them back in the day wore a lot of wigs. Some of those being Dolly Parton, and let’s not forget about Loretta Lynn.
Her Music Transcends Age & Genre
You know, when I was a kid, I never thought of her music as “country music.” I simply saw them as beautiful ballads. I guess that’s when you know a song transcends over music categories and age groups. This is something I don’t think we’ll ever hear again in the streaming age; unless we are searching for classic music.
Duet With Eddie Rabbitt
She has also made some beautiful & romantic duets; one of which is my favorite called “You and I,” with Eddie Rabbitt. The song was released in 1983, and hit #7 on the Top 100 Charts. I think when I heard this song, was the first time I started to hear the country in her music. If you love Crystal’s music, I recommend another beautiful short ballad called “Talking In Your Sleep.” It was released in 1978 and reached #18 on the Top 100 Chart.
Ok, ok.You can pick yourself from off the floor now from laughter! Yes, I do love some of Dolly Parton’s earlier country music. That’s why I’m a blogger; because my tastes are eclectic; and you can rediscover music history on my blog. Now, Dolly has one of those rare unique voices that requires writers that understands her voice. Having said that, I’m not going to lie, there are specific Dolly songs that I love (over the rest of them). I’ve listened to a lot of her music, and a huge chunk of her music made me feel like I was listening to children’s songs (regardless what the lyrics were). However, I guess that doesn’t really matter because millions of people still love her music today.
Proof of that is her 1980’s song “9To5,” from the movie “9To5 (1980),” which she also co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin (Ringy Dingy). Now, keep in mind that in 1980, there was no Spotify, having said that, as of today, Dolly’s 9To5 as reached over 92+ million plays. That’s a lot of change that song made. Spotify didn’t come to the U.S. until about 2009; so that gives you an idea of her fan base.
Now, I don’t think I remember the full story, but I think it goes something like this. There were two versions of the song 9To5. There was Dolly’s version, and then there was Sheena Easton’s version. Only one could be on the soundtrack, so they chose Dolly’s version. However, the record labels still liked Sheena’s version; so they waited about a year after Dolly’s version was released; renamed Sheena’s song to “Midnight Train (Nine To Five),” so that there was no confusion with the movie 9To5; then released it in 1981. Both became successful hits! Dolly’s hit #1 for two weeks; and Sheena’s version also hit #1 for two weeks!
I know I’ve written more than I planned, but before I close I do want you to check out Dolly’s “Hard Candy (1982).” Dolly said this was her first song she ever written as a child (if I remember correctly) during the xmas season. When I listen to it, I don’t perceive it to be about xmas at all, but someone who just gone through a lot of things, and just trying to pick up the pieces. It’s a beautiful song I think.