November 28

Fifth No. hit of Crystal Gayle, “Talking in Your Sleep”

Fifth No. hit of Crystal Gayle, “Talking in Your Sleep” 1

This song was the fifth No. 1 of Crystal Gayle. “Talking In Your Sleep” represents the first country chart-topper for songwriters Bobby Wood and Roger Cook. Although known as a pianist, Wood also contributed to a host of Memphis recordings including Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto” in ’69 and “Suspicious Minds” in ’72, plus Danny O’Keefe’s only chart placement, “Goodtime Charlie’s Got The Blues.”

Roger Cook wrote a partial line of the chorus of the song one day at his farmhouse in Franklin, Tennessee and he invited Wood to join him. When he got out there a couple of days later, the guys began to build on what Cook had started. They kicked around ideas about dreams and sleep and things like that. Then they thought of a previous song: “If You Talk In Your Sleep” by Elvis Presley. The song “If You Talk In Your Sleep” that was written by Wood’s friend, Red West as their guide, both decided to turn the idea around and they wrote “You’ve Been Talking In Your Sleep,” to reverse the story of the song.

That was on New Year’s Eve, 1976. For the next year and a half, business partner Ralph Murphy pitched “Talking In Your Sleep” all over Nashville with disappointing results. However, one taker finally stepped up, Crystal Gayle’s producer Allen Reynolds. He was a strong believer in the song “Talking In Your Sleep” and he played it for her during sessions for her album “We Must Believe In Magic,” but Crystal turned it down. For the days that followed, Reynolds pitched the song to several other producers, including Larry Butler and Billy Sherrill. Billy especially liked “Talking In Your Sleep,” and thought he might cut it on Tammy Wynette, but he never did.

Meanwhile, RCA sent Wood a recording contract based on his demo of the song. The papers were still on Bobby’s desk when Reynolds called to tell him that Crystal had changed her mind and decided to record “Talking In Your Sleep.” Wood figured Gayle, with a proven track record as a hit-maker, would do better with the song that he could, so he declined his recording deal. Although it took eighteen months to get it recorded, “Talking In Your Sleep” was an immediate success. Crystal’s record spent two weeks atop Billboard’s country singles chart beginning August 19, 1978; and peaked at a very respectable  No. 18 on the pop playlists. It marked Gayle’s fifth of eighteen No. 1 hits.


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