Crystal Gayle supported her trademark, nearly floor-length hair with a supple voice, a flair for ballads that netted her the occasional mainstream hit. Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, KY, on January 9. Her older sister was future superstar and Grand Ole Opry member Loretta Lynn, though Loretta had already left home by the time Brenda was born.
Gayle's debut single was 1970's "I've Cried (The Blues Right out of My Eyes)." Done in a style very similar to Lynn's, it reached the country Top 40. Far from encouraging Gayle to develop her own style, Decca pushed for more "little Loretta" records, and Lynn actually wrote some of her early singles. Frustrated, she parted ways with Decca and signed with United Artists in 1974, where she was teamed with producer Allen Reynolds. Her first-ever album, titled simply Crystal Gayle, was released in 1974.
The following year, she landed her first Top 10 country hit, "Wrong Road Again." In 1976, "I'll Get Over You" became the first of her 17 No. 1 country singles. The album, We Must Believe in Magic, became the first by a female country artist to attain platinum status.
Chart success continued for Gayle through the 1980 with 1986's "Cry" and another duet, this time with Gary Morris on "Makin' Up for Lost Time." Gayle also ran a shop in Nashville devoted to fine jewelry and, appropriately enough, crystal. Gayle opened the new millennium with 2000's In My Arms, an album of children's songs.
Live: An Evening With Crystal Gayle