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Crystal Gayle: A music pioneer appears at Meskwaki Friday

July 10, 2014
By Allison Graham - The Chronicle , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Grammy award winning country music artist Crystal Gayle will be appearing at Meskwaki Bingo and Casino on Friday July 11 at 8p.m. Tickets are available at Gayle was generous enough to speak with us over the phone on Monday July 7.

Q: Your career has spanned 40 years, what do you credit the longevity of your career to?

A: It's always hard to pinpoint but having great producers was key for Gayle. Gayle also credits having a set of values that she has tried to uphold throughout her career. She didn't want to do commercials and put her name on things she didn't love. For Gayle it was always all about the music from back when her family played on their front porch in Kentucky to when they moved to Indiana and played in their living room. Being tasteful in what you do was important to Gayle.

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Crystal Gayle

Q: You have a new album that is scheduled to come out sometime this year, is that correct?

A: "Yes, It's always fun to be in the studio". Gayle also likes getting out and seeing her fans.

Q: I think everyone knows "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" which you won a Grammy for. That song was one of the first real crossover songs between country and pop music. What was it like to be charting new territory in country music?

A: "It was awesome," said Gayle. However this was not her first number one. "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" was written by Richard Lee who also penned Gayle's first number one single "I'll Get Over You" off of her second album. "Number one's don't come around often."

Q: A few years ago a reference was made in a Will Ferrell movie "Talladega Nights" about an incident involving a mountain lion and lead character's Crystal Gayle t-shirt. I've heard that you've experienced an influx of requests for that shirt since the movie. Did you know they were going to reference you in the movie? Did you notice a different type of audience, younger crowds at shows? Was it a fun experience?

A: Gayle chuckles, they asked to use the shirt and we okayed that but didn't know if they would use it or not. Gayle didn't know for sure if it was used in the movie until she started receiving phone calls. They began making the shirts again and are available for sale at her website It was a fun experience for Gayle who is a Will Ferrell fan. Her concerts have always been a mixed audience. She often has fans approach her to tell her that their mom played Gayle's music. Gayle joked that their mom made them listen to the music!

Q: The face and sound of country music has changed significantly since 1970 when your first song was released. Who are some when your first song was released. Who are some artists you enjoy listening to? What do you think of the new sound of country music?

A: The business is different. It's all big business. It is incredible what the internet has done for the business. Someone could have a hit song and then you never see them again. Men are having success in the business today. The sound to me today is that of pop from the 70's. Music is fun and country music has filled a void. "I still want to hear songs that make me want to listen to it."

Q: Are there any artists you would like to work with that you haven't yet?

A: I have been fortunate to have worked with so many good artists, recording with the likes of Eddie Rabbitt on "You and I" and also with Big Bird from Sesame Street.

Q: I'm an only child and you come from such a large family, are you able to stay in touch with your large family? What types of things do you enjoy doing with your family? What are some things you enjoy doing in your free time when not touring or recording?

A: Gayle just recently spent the 4th with a few of her sisters and nieces and nephews. Being the baby in a family of eight it can sometimes be hard to get everyone together as Gayle has a big family spread out over Kentucky and Indiana. For not being close in age (there is a 19 year age gap) Gayle remains close with sister Loretta Lynn. We are a close family and you don't always have to be close in proximity to be close in your heart.

Q: You have a signature look with your long hair, people see the hair and immediately recognize "CRYSTAL GAYLE". What led to you having the unique hairstyle and keeping it for so many years?

A: It just happened. It was cut short in high school and from there it just grew! Gayle credited her Cherokee heritage to her fast growing hair.

Q: Do you ever have a whim where you want to get it cut short?

A: Yes and I probably will at some point. But my kids told me once that you can't cut your hair because you won't be Crystal Gayle anymore and that stuck with me.

Q: I saw in an interview you did in 2009 that you can't travel without your makeup, as a makeup enthusiast myself what are some products that you can't live without?

A: Gayle laughs; a little mascara, liner, concealer, a little blush and you are good. If you take care of your skin and you don't need the foundation. But when going out a little blush, lipstick, and mascara is good!

Q: I have really enjoyed speaking with you. I just have one final question for you. The show is coming up on July 11; can you share some tidbits about the concert?

A: There will be a bit of everything. My sister, Peggy Sue, will be with me. We like to have fun and that's important!



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