Crystal Gayle Sings with Loretta Lynn, Interprets country Staples ~ above ‘You Don’t know Me’

“Don’t It do My Brown eye Blue” singer tackles the works of Willie Nelson, Cindy pedestrian on first album in 15 years


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Crystal Gayle reflects on her very first appearance in ~ the grand Ole Opry and also the recording of her new album 'You Don't understand Me.'

Wade Payne/Invision/AP/Shutterst


As nation singers go, crystal Gayle has long to be a sparkling diamond in a rhinestone world. If the singer’s freshly released You Don’t recognize Me beautiful showcases she elegant, middle-of-the-road vocal delivery — a quality that led her to come to be one of the many successful crossover artist of the late Seventies — the record likewise pays homage come Gayle’s deep, abiding connection to vintage country music.

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In the process, it i do not care a heartwarming family members affair as well. That family includes two sisters that co-wrote a nation classic, “Don’t Come house a-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on your Mind),” and who room both featured ~ above the LP: country Music room of Famer Loretta Lynn and fellow hitmaker Peggy Sue Wright. Together, the 3 siblings carry out an emotional, harmony-rich rendition of “Put that Off till Tomorrow,” a tune written by Dolly Parton and her uncle bill Owens.


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“Loretta, Peggy, and I would sing ~ above the reflects that we worked together,” Gayle speak Rolling rock Country throughout an afternoon conversation at the Music heat office structure that bears her name. “We walk Reno, Tahoe, different shows, and also we had several songs the we would sing, and that was one. We sang it like it was ours. Loretta would certainly sing lead. I would execute the low alto, and Peggy would execute the high. Ns wish I’d actually tape-recorded every tune we had actually done on the road because when Loretta come in to perform ‘Put that Off’ You Don’t know Me>, her next question was, ‘What’s next?’ that was prefer she was having actually fun through it. And also that to be the year prior to her stroke.”


Unlike Lynn, that was elevated in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky, near Paintsville, Gayle was raised mostly in Wabash, Indiana. She married she high-school sweetheart, invoice Gatzimos, in 1970, the exact same year she made her debut top top Decca documents with “I’ve cried the Blue (Right the end of mine Eyes),” penned by her sister Loretta. In 1977, v “Don’t It make My Brown eye Blue,” Gayle topped the nation chart and peaked at Number 2 top top the U.S. Pop chart behind Debby Boone’s “You light Up my Life.” The solitary was an international hit as well and also Gayle complied with it increase with more pop crossovers favor “Talking in her Sleep,” “Half the Way,” and also “You and I,” a 1982 duet v Eddie Rabbitt.

While she has actually sung product by several of music’s greatest tunesmiths, consisting of on a 1999 tribute LP to Hoagy Carmichael, You Don’t know Me is Gayle bright a light on the best of nation music songwriting. She interprets song by Cindy walker (the heart-wrenching title cut), Hank Williams (“You success Again”), and Willie Nelson (“Hello Walls”). There’s likewise a variation of “You Were never Mine,” created by she late brother Jay Lee Webb, through whom Gayle an initial lived as soon as she relocated to Nashville.

“I should have done that a long time ago, if he was still alive,” she states of record the song by Webb, who worked closely with Loretta at the start of she career. “He drove the car, he opened the show. Ns don’t understand when he slept, really. Due to the fact that then they’d get in the car, drive to the next venue. That did the for a long, lengthy time.”

Just as Jay Lee’s relationship with his larger sister was straightforward talking suggest in his at an early stage career, Gayle often discovered herself publicized as Lynn’s “baby sister.” yet it to be clear once she sang that the 2 didn’t sound anything alike.

“The ideal was ‘Loretta Lynn’s infant Sitter,’” she states with a laugh, recalling a misspelled marquee. “That was in a tiny bar ns was playing in Chicago. I’d have human being come approximately me, saying, ‘We have a gambling going. So-and-so says you’re Loretta Lynn’s sister, and I speak you’re not.’ I’d say, ‘Well, I’m her sister.’ ‘You don’t sound like her!’ I had actually the Kentucky accent, then us come Indiana … and then I concerned Tennessee and also I didn’t recognize what ns had, to tell the truth.”

In 2016, Gayle was invited to sign up with the cool Ole Opry by another singer through crossover appeal, Carrie Underwood. She stated yes, of course, and was official inducted the adhering to year by her sister Loretta.

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But it’s her first appearance ~ above the Opry stage that she’ll never forget. Just a teenager then, Gayle fill in for an ailing Lynn after she husband Doolittle petitioned the Opry come let Gayle take her place. She sang Gordon Lightfoot’s “Ribbon of Darkness,” a 1965 chart-topper that she revisits on You Don’t know Me, which was developed by Gayle’s kid Chris Gatzimos.

“I was 16 or 17, somewhere in that age, and also I to be scared to death,” says Gayle, now 68. “I still have actually the dress that i wore. Mommy made it for me, a tiny silver dress.”