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September 26

Crystal Gayle’s Career Start and “You Never Miss A Real Good Thing”

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The Coal Miner’s Daughter’s Young Sister

In 1970, Crystal Gayle entered the country music scene very quietly with her debut single called “I’ve Cried The Blue (Right Out Of My Eyes). The song was good but it failed to make noise. It peaked on the Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart only at No. 23. Even though the song made the people very curious about who the young woman with a bluesy voice is, people were shocked to find out that that girl was Loretta Lynn’s little sister, Brenda Gail Webb.

It was a shock for she didn’t look or sound like Loretta Lynn. Brenda had adopted the stage name “Crystal Gayle,” it was believed that it was from a popular chain of fast-food called “Krystal.” Loretta Lynn was the one responsible for Crystal’s first record label, Decca Records. Not only that, Loretta had even written her first single.

Crystal Gayle was born in Paintsville, Kentucky on January 9, 1951. However, she grew up in an entirely different atmosphere than Loretta Lynn. Lynn was already married and has moved out by the time her baby sister was born. Their family moved to Wabash, Indiana when Crystal was just four years of age. She was nine when Loretta’s first record, “Honky Tonk Girl” was released. It reached No. 14 spot sending the Coal Miner’s Daughter into stardom.

A Style Different From Other Artists

On the other hand, Crystal Gayle was attracted to a widely-diverse spectrum of musical styles. It was from Patsy Cline to the Beatles came up on her list of favorites.  In fact, Loretta Lynn urged her little sister to make records that distinguished the two of them stylistically. Years later, in an  interview, Crystal Gayle said:

“There’s only one Loretta Lynn and if I had been real country, I probably wouldn’t have done as well because people would say ‘she’s just trying to sound like her sister’.”

Crystal Gayle’s bluesy style was the perfect ingredient to set her apart from, every other artist in Nashville.

“You Never Miss A Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye)”

Bob McDill contributed heavily to Crystal Gayle’s sound on her 1976 album, “Crystal.” Producer Allen Reynolds had convinced McDill to move from Memphis to Nashville in earlier years. McDill’s publisher, Bill Hall sent Allen Reynolds a tape with three songs that all ended up on the album “Crystal.” One of those songs was “You Never Miss A Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye).” Reynolds claims that it the best tape he ever received. In addition, it was also in a very good timing because they were heading into the new album project and they needed good songs.

“You Never Miss A Real Good Thing (Till He Says Goodbye)” became the second single in the album. It was also Crystal Gayle’s second No. 1 hit, although, McDill doesn’t remember writing the song. He described Crystal Gayle’s record as a “very progressive record.”

Visit our website to see more of Crystal Gayle and her songs. God Bless Your Heart!


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Bob McDill, Crystal, crystal gayle, Loretta Lynn


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