Country music icon Crystal Gayle blows Fort Worth on tour
With such a long and renowned career, the country music icon Gayle Crystal‘s some free time since 2020 is just a hit on her touring record. Last September, she gave her first performances since the start of the pandemic, and she will be heading to Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth on Monday, December 13.
Gayle, along with country music legends The Gatlin Brothers, will grace the Bass Hall stage together for the very first time in an all-new holiday special, The Gatlin Brothers and Crystal Gayle – Holiday & Hits.
âWe are happy that things are starting and I hope we will continue to get back to normal,â Gayle said. âIt’s good to see the friends I’ve made over the years. I’ve been in the business, oh, only a few years.
This is certainly an exaggeration, as Gayle began her career decades ago, following in her sister’s footsteps, a revolutionary country star. loretta lynn. The young singer started out as a solo without a band, playing hits that house bands already knew how to play.
“I have never been a backing vocalist,” adds Gayle. âI read where people wrote that I was in my sister’s band and did some backup for her, but I never did. It wasn’t that I didn’t want it; it just did not happen.
With 19 years between sisters and a totally different upbringing in two states, Gayle had all the basics she needed to distinguish herself separately. It was ultimately Lynn who encouraged Gayle to step away from comparisons, stop playing her sister’s music, and develop her own style.
âShe said, ‘You will only be compared to me,’ and that was the truth,â Gayle recalls, no doubt in countless accounts during her five decades in the music industry. “At first, so many people said to me, ‘So-and-so tells me you’re Loretta Lynn’s sister, and I’m saying you’re not … because you don’t look like her!'”
Gayle’s style focused more on the blues, with full, mellow vocals and slow instrumentals. While she stayed true to country, it was softened by flowing strings, spacious electric bass, and piano arrangements. The style earned her 18 No. 1 hits, according to Billboard, the fourth-highest number of country singers in 2018. In 2009, her star appeared on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2016, she was officially invited by Carrie Underwood to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry, where she sang for decades.
âMy sister, Loretta, was actually the one who brought me into the family,â Gayle says of her induction into the Nashville institution. She laughs at her roundabout path to official membership, a final level of recognition that she is nevertheless still honored to receive. “As I always say, I thought I was always [in the family]. I’ve been on the Opry stage so many times.
Part of developing and maintaining a strong voice, Gayle says, involved questioning one’s own tastes. She credits much of this personal development to producer Allen Reynolds, who encouraged her to listen carefully and develop opinions about the music she needed to record. Carrying her personal brand’s attitude outside of music, she declined recommendations for products she wasn’t already using on her famous long hair. Resisting a sold-out sale is a timeless concept, but since Gayle started the industry has changed.
âPeople ask how to get started in the business. Today is so different from when I started, âsays Gayle. âIt’s almost like they’re releasing a record and then if you don’t do anything in that first half of the year, you leave the label. There are a lot of good deeds. I’m just telling everyone to sing along wherever you can.
After an illustrious career, this is also where Gayle settled. She’s making the trip again and tweaking each performance for different moods across the country (and every now and then for a fan or friend who requests it). Without hesitation, she names the moody, folksy song “Ready for the Times to Get Better” as a song she never tires of singing.
The lyrics of Gayle’s 25 studio albums began to slip away, a byproduct of “diploma,” in his words, to the blowers. But she has not finished enriching her repertoire. His most recent release, with Swedish rock musician Sulo, is nostalgic and upbeat, and opens up potential for further recordings together in the future. She travels with her husband, Bill, and every now and then her grown children come out to watch. (Sometimes his son, Christos, a studio engineer and producer, comes in to help with the live mixing, and his grandson, high school student Elijah, helps sell merchandise.)
âWhen you’re starting out, you’re looking to have those bestselling records. You worry about a lot of things, âGayle explains. âFor this time in my career, yes, I could retire tomorrow if I wanted to. But I love to be there and keep playing, so, you know, until that moment comes out, I’ll be there.
The Bass room The show is described as “an evening featuring a catalog of holiday hits and favorites.” Remarkably, this will be the very first time that Gayle and the Gatlin brothers have appeared together, according to press documents.
Gayle will also visit a few other locations in Texas on his tour, including Waco on December 2, Corsicana on December 3, Greenville on December 4, and The Woodlands on December 12.
The Gatlin Brothers and Crystal Gayle – Holiday & Hits, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13, Bass Hall, Fort Worth. Tickets: $ 38.50 to $ 88 at basshall.com.