Don’t it make my brown eyes blue

The youngest of eight children, and the only member of her family to have been born in a hospital. Brenda Gail Webb first saw the light of day in Butcher Holler, Kentucky in 1951.  At the age of four the Webb family moved to Wabash, Indiana.

Blessed with a beautiful singing voice, even as a small child, she was encouraged to overcome an innate shyness by singing for household visitors.  Naturally there were times when she was in need of inspiration, which was when she looked to her eldest sister (by 16 years), who had already established herself as a country singer and was known to the world as…Loretta Lynn.

While still in high school, Brenda began to tour with Loretta during summer vacations, signing with her sister’s record label soon after graduation.  Seeing as it (Decca Records) was also Brenda Lee’s label, the producers requested a name change and it was Loretta who suggested the name ‘Crystal’ after noticing a sign for the Krystal hamburger chain.

So Brenda Gail Webb, with the beautiful voice, became Crystal Gayle, later voted one of the most beautiful people in the world and famous for her astonishingly lush, floor-length hair. And though she would accrue eight Number One country hits in the ‘70s and ‘80s it was this atypical jazz-flavored ballad that most of us remember her for.

Written with Shirley Bassey in mind, it was snapped up by producer, Allen Reynolds, after songwriter, Richard Leigh sang it during an impromptu sing-along. Reynolds then encouraged Gayle to give it a go, later remembering how…“It was just one of those charmed sessions. We presented the song to the musicians and after the third run-through we ran the tape. Everything on that recording is the original take as it went down, except the string section I added later.”

First featured as a track on her 1977 album, “We Must Believe in Magic”, the song quickly became the blue-eyed Gayle’s biggest hit, especially after it crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, where it reached Number 2.

Perhaps more significantly, “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue” enabled Crystal Gayle to become the first female country artist in history to have a certified platinum album, guaranteeing her a spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame where her star shines brightly to this day…not far from big sister, Loretta’s.

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Thursday 17 January 

Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue

Don’t know when I’ve been so blue

Don’t know what’s come over you

You’ve found someone new

And don’t it make my brown eyes blue

I’ll be fine when you’re gone

I’ll just cry all night long

Say it isn’t true

And don’t it make my brown eyes blue

Tell me no secrets, tell me some lies

Give me no reasons, give me alibis

Tell me you love me and don’t make me cry

Say anything but don’t say goodbye

I didn’t mean to treat you bad

Didn’t know just what I had

But, honey, now I do

And don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes blue

Don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes blue

Don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes

Don’t it make my brown eyes blue

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