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Crystal Gayle Remembers Her First Time

Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

Crystal Gayle carved out a music career for herself ten years after her older sister, Loretta Lynn, had signed her first record deal in 1960. Crystal, who is best known for her 1977 country-pop hit ‘Don’t It Make Your Brown Eyes Blue,’ eventually accumulated 20 No. 1 country hits during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Grammy-award winner had a few lessons to learn before she established herself apart from her superstar sister. Crystal tells The Boot that her legendary sibling gave her some very sound guidance early in her career. “Her best advice to me was to quit singing her songs,” she admits. “I sang every one of them. She said, ‘We have one Loretta Lynn, we don’t need another.’ Even though I loved singing all her songs, I knew I had to be something totally different. She was right. She knew. It’s very hard in this business to be a sibling and to make it following in the footsteps.”

One of the most exciting moments of her career played out when Crystal heard her first single on the radio for the very first time. “I was in the car driving down the road, and actually it was good that there weren’t any other cars around,” she laughs, adding, “I might have wrecked! It was just so exciting. You lose yourself when you’re hearing it. It’s like: Wow! It was my very first record, which was ‘I Cried the Blue Right Out of My Eyes.’ It came out in 1970. It was a huge thrill to hear it for the first time!”

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