By Randall Franks
Throughout my career in music, one of my favorite singers is Crystal Gayle. Crystal’s legacy continues to have a lasting impact in her childhood hometown with the unveiling of a theater named in her honor and an exhibit profiling her iconic career.
The Wabash County Historical Museum in Wabash, Indiana named its theater the “Crystal Gayle Theater” to honor her influence and connection to the small town in Northern Indiana.
“It’s so humbling to return to Wabash and feel the love from the community. They always welcome me home with open arms. I’m so proud to be here and be part of this incredible museum,” Gayle said.
The youngest of eight children, including Loretta Lynn, Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in Paintsville, Kentucky. As the coal mines closed, her family left the area to find work and moved to Wabash, Indiana.
The updated exhibit features a replica of Gayle’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1986 American Music Award for Favorite Female Country Vocalist, “When I Dream” gold album, tour gown and tour book, 2005 Indiana Living Legend Award along with various pictures and memorabilia.
“Our community has a strong affection for Crystal Gayle and her connection to many local families and this will be a great event for them to reconnect with her and enjoy the museum,” said Mitch Figert, Executive Director.
The expanded exhibit will allow the museum to further highlight Crystal Gayle’s accomplishments which will also include memorabilia to be added inside the theater.
Crystal Gayle is an award-winning country music living legend whose reign in the music business includes 20 number one country hits, six albums certified Gold by the RIAA and the first female artist in country music history to reach Platinum sales with her 1977 album, We Must Believe in Magic. Her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” became an iconic staple and solidified her as one of the top female vocalists during the 1970s and 1980s.
Her list of platinum and gold was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA’s “Female Vocalist of the Year,” for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for “Best Female Vocal Performance,” thanks to her beloved “Brown Eyes” – a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy of Country Music Awards for three of their “Top Female Vocalist” statuettes. She is the recipient of three “American Music Awards,” voted by the nation as America’s “Favorite Female Artist.”
Perhaps nothing sums up Crystal’s career achievements as well as being awarded with a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2009. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister (by 19 years) of singer Loretta Lynn, and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. Gayle also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near Lynn’s star