With almost three dozen hit records to her credit, Crystal has come a long way from her roots in the Appalachian coal mining town of Paintsville, Kentucky. The youngest of eight, Crystal was influenced by a wide variety of music. She listened to folk, pop, rock and roll, Broadway show tunes, gospel and country with equal fascination. She sang along with Lesley Gore, Brenda Lee and Patsy Cline on the radio. Later, the Beatles and Peter, Paul and Mary exerted powerful creative influences. Crystal’s older sister, country star Loretta Lynn, also encouraged her. While growing up, Crystal traveled and sang with Loretta for a few weeks each summer.
While still in school Crystal signed her first recording contract. Her debut single, “I’ve Cried (The Blue Right Out of My Eyes)”, was written by Loretta and reached the Top 25 on the national country music charts. Three more singles were released during the next three years and each found a place on the charts.
Crystal’s earliest albums began to reflect her unique creative personality. Crystal Gayle, Somebody Loves You and Crystal yielded a bumper crop of smash singles, including “Wrong Road Again” (first top ten record), “Beyond You”, “Somebody Loves You”, “I’ll Get Over You” (first No. 1) and “Never Miss A Real Good Thing”. With her fourth album, We Must Believe In Magic, Crystal became the first female country artist to achieve platinum sales status. This album included the international country and pop smash “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”. Her next album, also platinum, When I Dream, contained the title song and “Talking In Your Sleep”, which was BMI’s most played country song in 1978. This impressive list grew with her fourth gold album, Miss The Mississippi,These Days and Hollywood Tennessee, which produced several hit singles. During this period Crystal recorded the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola’s acclaimed film, One From The Heart, with Tom Waits.
In 1982, Crystal recorded her first ever duet single, the chart-topping “You and I” with Eddie Rabbit. Her True Love LP produced hits such as “Baby What About You”, “Till I Gain Control Again”, and “Our Love Is On The Faultline”. Crystal continued her string of hit albums and also recorded a popular Christmas collection, A Crystal Christmas, and a duet album with Gary Morris, What If We Fall In Love, which includes the hit singles “Makin’ Up For Lost Time” and “Another World”, the theme song from the hit TV soap opera. Crystal guest starred on several episodes of Another World where she was stalked by a ruthless killer.
Crystal has a shelf full of awards to go along with her extraordinary run of hit singles and albums. Her first major award was Most Promising Female Vocalist in 1976 from the Academy of Country Music. This promise was realized when Crystal was named Country Music’s Female Vocalist of the Year three times by the Academy of Country Music, twice by the Country Music Association and three times by the American Music Awards. Crystal won a Grammy for her extra-ordinary performance of her world-wide hit “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”. The American Music Awards also recognized her artistry and beauty by naming her its Favorite Female Country Video Artist.
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