With a luscious mane of brunette hair flowing down to her toes, a rich voice that dazzles and charms, one of eight siblings born to a Paintsville, Kentucky family, Brenda Gail Webb is uniquely her own person. Thanks to her older sister, a country western talent by the name of Loretta Lynn, Brenda got a new identity when she too wanted to take to the stage and perform. Big sis renamed her Crystal Gayle, a moniker that would serve her well in her illustrious career.
Loretta Lynn knew that her younger sibling had to find her own path if she was going to succeed. There was already one “Coal Miner’s Daughter” in the family. Loretta came up with Crystal’s name when she saw a Krystal hamburger restaurant on the side of the road and it was a prophetic choice.
Coming from a musical family, where her mom, one of a twin, sang at socials and church events, Crystal states “I grew up in a house full of music. As the baby of the family, I thought I was a mistake, being five years younger than my youngest sibling but momma exclaimed I wasn’t a mistake but an accident.” Contrary to the way her mother was portrayed in the movie about her oldest sibling Loretta, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” she says her mom wasn’t dark or down, rather “she wore the reddest lipstick the better.”
With her debut hit, “I’ve Cried the Blue Right Out of My Eyes,” a gift from the pen of her sister Loretta, Crystal Gayle has crossed over all the musical lines, singing gospel, country western, folk songs, rock ‘n roll and Broadway show tunes. Claiming she grew up singing everything, she soon looked for her own style which she calls “MOR, middle of the road” which now has become main stream, so she was clearly ahead of her time. While she has never recorded an album with big sister, “When we’re together we laugh a lot.”
The first female artist in country western music history to earn platinum record album sales with “We Must Believe in Magic,” she has sung from the Grand Ole Opry to Las Vegas to Carnegie Hall to the London Palladium, and now she is coming here for two concerts only, on Saturday, June 23 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. to Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret.
Come hear her glorious voice belt out such gems as “Wrong Road Again,” “I’ll Get Over You,” “If You Ever Change Your Mind, “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” “Cry” and her signature song “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” When she’s on tour, her fans start calling for it by the time she is into the second song of her set.
As for her trademark long hair, she calls it “easy to take care of, just wash and let dry. It grows quickly, maybe due to my American Indian blood of Cherokee. My children told me I can’t cut it or I wouldn’t be Crystal Gayle.” Her son, a recent graduate of Belmont University with a degree in music business, is an engineer who writes and works in her studio. They are collaborating right now on several albums, but he has already given her a wonderful gift in her first grandchild, a boy who sings with her when they play together.
For tickets ($47 and 67), call the Downtown Cabaret, 263 Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport at 203-576-1636 or online at www.downtowncabaret.org. Performances are 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and remember to bring goodies to eat and drink at your table. The cabaret is wheelchair accessible and guarded parking is available nearby for a nominal fee.
The Grand Ole Opry welcomed Crystal Gayle on Friday, June 15 and Connecticut gets to embrace her musical greatness on Saturday, June 23. Be there to celebrate this cool, classy lady who could sing before she could walk!