Crystal Gayle to Become Member of the Grand Ole Opry Almost Fifty Years After Her Debut

by VVN Music

Who knows how the Grand Ole Opry decides who should be a member and who shouldn't.

There are many artists who are asked to join early in their career while others wait years and years for that special invitation. Among those on the latter list are Willie Nelson, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack and Kris Kristofferson. On the other hand, Darius Rucker is a member when Merle Haggard was never afforded the honor.

On Tuesday evening, one of the "should haves" was invited to become a member, Crystal Gayle. Gayle has been singing for 46 years with many, many appearances at the Opry but it took until yesterday for the organization to make an invitation which was delivered by Carrie Underwood.

Underwood surprised Gayle, saying "You are an inspiration to so many of us. You are important to country music, and you are important to the Opry, which is why I was asked tonight to ask you if you would like to join our Opry family officially."

Gayle responded "I have always felt like I was a member of the family and this is just so special."

Opry VP and General Manager Pete Fisher talked of Gayle's invitation in a statement, saying "For more than half of the Opry’s 91 years, Crystal Gayle has been lending her signature vocals to Opry shows and connecting with Opry audiences as well as with everyone backstage. She is family, and we are very excited that she’ll become an official Opry member early next year."

Crystal Gayle was born Brenda Gail Webb in 1951, the youngest of a poor family of ten that also included sister Loretta Lynn and Peggy Sue (Lynn). She released her first single in 1970 but it wasn't until 1974 that she finally broke into the country top ten with Wrong Road Again.

Over the years, Gayle had 33 top ten country singles, including two collaborations, eighteen of which went to number 1. She also crossed over to the pop charts with Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue (1977 / #2), Talking in Your Sleep (1978 / #18), Half the Way (1979 / #15) and the duet with Eddie Rabbitt You and I (1982 / #7).

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