My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Crystal Gayle – ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’

This massive international hit was Crystal’s biggest ever.

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One response to “Classic Rewind: Crystal Gayle – ‘Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue’

  1. Alan Jobe January 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    According to a couple of Billboard source books, this is how Brown Eyes came to be.

    After the success of I’ll Get Over You, writer Richard Leigh fell into a kind of depression because he hadn’t been able to duplicate that success again. He lived next door to another writer named Sandy Mason who persuaded Allen Reynolds to come give Leigh some encouragement. The three of them sat on the floor in Mason’s living room and Leigh began to share some of his songs with Reynolds.

    He told Reynolds of a song he was planning to send to Shirley Bassey but when he sang it for Reynolds, his mouth dropped open. Reynolds told Leigh he wasn’t sending it anywhere. The song was Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Reynolds showed it to Crystal, who loved it instantly.

    What you hear is a FIRST take. Other than some extra strings Reynolds added later, everything else – including all of Crystal’s vocals – was from the first take. According to Crystal, the record label did NOT want to release the song as the first single. Back then, ballads were usually not considered first-single material, but rather something upbeat. But Crystal insisted it go first because she was afraid someone else would record it and put it out. It spent four weeks at #1 on the country chart and peaked at #2 on the pop chart (held off by Debby Boone’s ten week run at #1 with You Light Up My Life)

    There is a sad note to the song. When Leigh was writing the song, his dog Amanda sat at his feet, staring up at him with her big beautiful brown eyes. A few years later, a trash man threw a rock at her and hit her in the eye. Amanda’s eye developed cataracts and it eventually left her with one brown eye and one blue eye. True story.

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