(CSC) 1. Great to chat with you once again. What’s new in your world?!?
Oh My! You know new in my world is really just doing what I love to do! What I've loved doing all through the years and that's be in the studio, still working the road, meeting my friends that I've made through the years.
(CSC) 2. Congratulations on your recent honor, The ACM
Pioneer Award. This fall, you will be recognized at the official ceremony.
Please share your thoughts and feelings about this exciting highlight in your
Yes, I'm excited! Its just a really special honor for people to look back and say hey she has contributed to the world of music and country music. It's just a great honor. I'm very pleased and of course I'm in with Tanya Tucker and The Statler Brothers! It will be a lot of fun. The Academy of Country Music was actually the first award show that I ever performed on. I sang "Somebody Loves You." I was up for the "Most Promising” I believe that year. I'm trying to think if I won that year! (laughs) See how bad I'm getting??(laughs) I just remember how warm and caring they were. They've been that way for all the country music artists.
(CSC) 3. For the first time in 13 years, you’re releasing a brand new album of classic country songs. How’s the recording process coming along and have you settled on a title for the record?
We have been having a great time my son Chris and I in the studio. It is basically done and ready. We're just finishing up a little bit of the mixing. We had stopped it a little bit just because of some upgrades in the studio. But everything is back to working and going great! It's called, well you know every time I've ever said the title, at the last minute I change it! (laughs)But the working title is "Am I That Easy to Forget." That’s one of the songs on the album. (Jim Reeves). I'm hoping everything goes on schedule and it will come out in the fall, unless something really happens.
(CSC) 4. You have covered a collection of songs that are nearest and dearest to you as an artist. One that comes to mind is “Ribbon of Darkness,” made famous by Marty Robbins. Tell us about the first time that you sang that iconic song!
Well the first time I sang it on the Grand Ole Opry. I got to take Loretta's place because she was sick. And I'm sure they did a lot of talking. Mooney! I'm sure he did! They let me go on and sing. I can remember the little shiny dress my mother made me, which actually is in Loretta's museum at this time. You know, it was just incredible! I love Marty Robbins. When I started recording, I was about sixteen when I performed his song at the Opry.
(CSC) 5. Tell me about your dear friendship with the late Jack Greene of the Grand Ole Opry, and your decision to cover his classic hit, “There Goes My Everything.”
Well I love that song and I love Jack Green. He was such an incredible singer and person. Jack was so great and we miss him a lot that’s for sure. I would sing that song on my shows when I first started. You know I would sing a couple of songs that I recorded but I would fill the set with the popular songs of the day and definitely "There Goes My Everything" was one of those songs. I loved hearing him sing it.
(CSC) 6. It’s a shame we have lost yet another legend, Merle Haggard. You paid tribute to him at the Opry recently and covered “That’s The Way Love Goes” shortly before his passing. Why does this song resonate with you?
I love "That’s the Way Love Goes" it's such a great song and of course I knew of the song with Johnny Rodriguez. He had the first recording and I remember touring with him when I first started and of course Merle Haggard had a big number one with it a few years later. It's such a special song. I love singing it. I love the melody and of course listening to the records of Rodriguez and then Merle's, I mean it was just beautiful. There's so much emotion in a song like that.
(CSC) 7. Next year, (2017) you will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of “We Must Believe In Magic,” which featured “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” and also was the first album to be certified platinum by a female country artist. With that said, what big plans do you have to commemorate this very special occasion?
Well you know, I really hadn't thought about it! (laughs) Now I'm going to think about it even though my son has been talking about that and he says ok your gonna do this this and this! You know it's incredible how the time flies. It doesn't seem that long, but it is. I've done a lot through the years in TV studios and recording studios. But with "Brown Eyes” it was such a special song. It was a song that I would say I almost didn't get because they were sending it to California for somebody. When Allen Reynolds, my Producer, asked Richard Leigh to play him one more song and “Brown Eyes” was the song he played for him. Richard reminded Allen they were sending the song to someone else and Allen looked at him and he said "No you're not, that song is gonna stay here!” You know we could have lost that song so easily, but it was just meant to be. It was the very first take in the studio. When the machine went on, the recorder, that’s what you hear on the radio. I did not re-sing it. Allen put some strings on the track but it was a performance with everybody. It just fell in place. I knew that I wanted it, the very first single, to come off the record. I had to do some fast talking with the record company because they really like to start with up tempos and not ballads. I think that they were probably happy that they went with what I wanted.
(CSC) 8. What’s the first valuable lesson you learned as a new artist in the business and how has it stuck with you all these years later?
Well the first valuable lesson? Well there's so many different things when you start out in this business. I learned right away that not everything that they would tell you, such as the record company does not mean it will be. Its like they tell you what they think you want to hear. I don't know how to put this into words other than you just have to not give up. You have a goal. You can't let setbacks like people telling you one thing and doing another get you down. It was so great when I started working with Allen Reynolds. Allen is so special. He wasn't going to tell me something that he would not try to do or be a part of. It's hard to explain, but the business can get you down. You have to carry on if you want to succeed. It's not quite the same as when I started, as it wasn't the same when my sister (Loretta) started. It’s being in the right place at the right time and having good people behind you. That was Allen for me. It was finding someone like Allen in the business who actually wanted my opinion. Wanted to know if I liked the songs, liked the music that we were going to record. He had to pull out a lot of things from me because I had started out with Owen Bradley and Owen was more forceful you know this, this, this. You’re recording this. So you know it was great to see someone letting you help decide what you were gonna sing. Allen's take on it was you're going to have to sing these songs so you better like them. You know it was like if you didn't like them, don’t record them.
(CSC) 9. Outside of country, who are some of your favorite artists in today’s music? Do you keep up with the all the gossip?
Of course you see some gossip here and there. But you know there's so many comings and goings from different artists, it’s hard to keep up with who's out there. And that’s the same way in country music. I love Adele & Demi Lovato. There are so many good ones out there. A lot of time you'll listen to something on the radio and if you don't know the artist, you don't know who it is because they don't really say. They'll go into the next song. I don't know if I could say exactly. I'm a fan of so many different styles of music. There are just so many great artists out there. In country music I’m partial to Dustin Lynch because he’s the nephew of my niece Elisabeth Lynch. I’ve known him since he was a young boy singing and playing his guitar. He is great!
(CSC) 10. In your spare time, what are some of your interests? (Movies, hobbies, shopping).
I do like to watch different movies and spending time with my grandchild. I like the action movies. Rambo is good. Rambo is one of my favorites, you know? (laughs) I wish he would do another one. I have a good idea for it. Elijah is twelve now so I do a lot of things with him. He's a great one. I do online shopping. It's nice to get out but Nashville is growing so fast. It's just so crowded. A lot of times you go to the shop and there's nothing there so you can go online and they have everything in stock. I am a big Amazon shopper. There's some great sites out there. Zappos is great. One of the greatest things about it is free shipping both ways. So if it doesn't fit you send it back. And I think that’s the best. They've got it down. It's what you would buy in a store in the sense of the pricing. Its really the convenience.
(CSC) 11. This September, you are performing alongside your sister Loretta and Peggy Sue at Loretta’s Hurricane Mills Dude Ranch. Tell us about the Van Lear Girls and these special shows that you perform together!
Well when we get together, we have so much fun and that’s backstage, we carry on. Its special just being together. Whether we sing it right or wrong it's just being there and being family. I think that's what really appeals to a lot of people that come, too. They see the love that we have and that I know through the years I would read articles that we're fighting again and I say, ok where is this coming from? We haven't seen each other to fight. (laughs) And I could never understand it and I'm sure you've read a few of those things. We always get along. And you know the thing about it, we’re sisters and if we want to carry on and argue about something that’s ok cause we're sisters. But we really don't. As long as you make up and not this thing hanging over your head for years and you don't talk to each other and it happens a lot. I’m amazed to see it happen in a lot of families, but not ours.
(CSC) 12. After all you’ve done, what’s next on your bucket list?
I've always wanted to see the Pyramids but with what's going on in the world, I doubt I'm gonna do that! (laughs) That’s the hard part of traveling. You just do not know. One of the things I've never seen in the states, I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon. You think I would have and so that’s one on my bucket list. I gotta go out there! Of course you know at one time I thought I would walk down. Now you can take the Donkey down! (laughs) I don't know; I might just look at it. You can get a helicopter. I guess we could get in the river, do a little canoeing. That might work. Then how would I wash my hair? I could use a biodegradable shampoo. It would be fun. America's so beautiful. There are so many things you can travel and see here.
Please check out Crystal's official website here: http://www.crystalgayle.com/