Sunday, January 09, 2011

"Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" by Crystal Gayle

Birthday wishes go out today to Crystal Gayle, whose 1977 country hit Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue achieved considerable crossover success - owing in part to the lady herself, whose classiness in interviews, concerts, and public appearances endeared her to many...

The youngest of eight children and sister to fellow country music legend Loretta Lynn, Gayle's career has been more low-key* than that of her iconic sibling, but has still seen its great moments: We Must Believe in Magic - the album which spawned the monster hit shown above - was the first by a female country artist to be certified platinum**, Gayle herself became the first person in history to record a television concert on the Great Wall of China and, on a personal note, she teamed up with Pop Culture Institute favourite Tom Waits to record the soundtrack*** for Francis Ford Coppola's 1982 film, One from the Heart.

While it might not seem like much to the casual observer, it was during the period of Gayle's collaboration with Waits that he met his future wife, Kathleen Brennan - a relationship which would cause the paradigm shift in Waits' music that brought about the end of the so-called Asylum Years of his early career and inspired the more innovative work he's done since, a process of ongoing experimentation which has expanded the frontiers of American popular music in ways too numerous to mention.

Wait! What were we talking about? Oh yeah... Pretty song, pretty lady, happy birthday!

*And certainly far less controversial!

**No doubt helped as much by its #1 position on the country charts as its #2 position on the pop charts.
***For which Waits would earn an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Musical Score.
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