Crystal Gayle, The 'Brown Eyes Blue' Country Star, Then And Now

By | January 5, 2020

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Crystal Gayle performs onstage at the Volunteer Jam , Nashville, Tennessee, January 30, 1982. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Whether you know Crystal Gayle from her hits like “Talking In Your Sleep” or “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” or if you just remember the floor-length hair that she tended to like a Nashville Rapunzel, this crossover hitmaker sticks in your mind. She grew up the sister of Loretta Lynn but their relationship was never necessary to her success. Crystal Gayle did things her way.

She started as a respectable country singer in the 1970s but by the ‘80s she transitioned into a full on pop star while managing to keep her country soul. Crystal Gayle has done it all, she’s been to the top of the charts, toured with country luminaries, and she’s even a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Gayle Grew Up In The Shadow Of Loretta Lynn

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Coming out of the hills of Paintsville, Kentucky in 1951, Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb. The young Webb moved with her family to Wabash, Indiana at a young age where she started sining in church and touring with a folk band during the summer break from high school. After graduating high school in 1969 she was offered a recording contract with Decca Records. Smartly, she and her famous sister decided to change things up for Brenda Webb. When Loretta saw a sign for the Krystal restaurant chain she swapped out the K for a C and dubbed her sister Crystal Gayle. In 1970, a year after graduating high school, Gayle recorded her hit song, "I've Cried the Blue (Right Out of My Eyes).”