Song of the Day, January 28: Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue by Crystal Gayle

GayleBrownEyesBlueToday’s song is a great example of perfect timing. Producer Allen Reynolds was visiting his friend, songwriter Richard Leigh, hoping to cheer him up. Leigh had written a handful of Country Top 10’s for Crystal Gayle, all produced by Reynolds, but hadn’t had much success for a while. He shared some of his new songs with Reynolds, including a jazz-flavored number that he was planning to offer to Shirley Bassey (of Goldfinger fame). Reynolds heard it and replied, “Shirley Bassey my ass!”

He grabbed the song for Gayle, realizing it was a perfect fit for the diverse mix of styles on her upcoming album We Must Believe In Magic. He was right. The pop-jazz sound was a smart fit for Gayle’s beautiful voice, and a lightly country backdrop ensured that it got airplay at the stations that were used to promoting her. Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue became the singer’s biggest hit, spending three weeks at #1 on the country charts and three weeks at #2 on the Hot 100 (behind Debbie Boone’s monster single You Light Up My Life). ASCAP has listed it as one of the 10 most played songs of the 20th Century.

Enjoy this lovely crossover hit today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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