It’s been four years since country legend Loretta Lynn offered her sister Crystal Gayle the keys to the Grand Ole Opry kingdom. On this day in 2017, the singer inducted her sister into one of country music’s most coveted clubs.
The move felt appropriate given that Gayle originally performed at the Grand Ole Opry in her sister’s place. Lynn had come down with an illness and tapped her sister to take her place. It was a moment that Gayle would never forget, standing in The Circle.
“My first time to perform on the Opry, Loretta was sick and she talked them into letting me perform in her spot,” Crystal told Country Stars Central. “I remember singing ‘Ribbon of Darkness Over Me’ in my little shiny dress my mother made me.”
Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle Are Sisters
Apparently, the coal miner had more than one daughter. Many may not realize the two country singers are sisters because of their different stage names. Loretta Lynn was born Loretta Webb, and Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb. To avoid comparisons to her famous sister, Gayle chose to adopt a stage name and her own brand of music.
Gayle had been born after Lynn had already left home to pursue music. But the two developed a sisterly bond. Though Lynn would go down as a country legend, Gayle became a famous singer and musician in her own right. Over the course of her career, Gayle has had 20 No. 1 hits. She first came to prominence with “I’ll Get Over You” and cemented her legacy with “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.”
For that tune, Gayle earned a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Her album “We Must Believe in Magic” also went platinum, the first female country artist to do so. Other awards include the CMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 1977 and 1978. She also won the ACM Award for Female Vocalist of the Year for 1976, 1977, and 1979.
In addition to joining the Opry’s ranks, Gayle joined the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2008. A year later, she joined countless celebrities with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.