Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eddie Rabbitt And The World's Longest Hairdo Sing A Duet

If length of hair equaled singing talent, then Crystal Gayle would be the greatest singer of all time. Her hair is longer than her body. Her hair is so long, it should have its own Social Security Number.

Crystal Gayle is actually '60s country legend and self-proclaimed "Coal Miner's Daughter" Loretta Lynn's younger sister. But Gayle is such a distinctive singer in her own right, and her success has been so sustained, most people tend to forget this fact, if they're even aware of it to begin with.

Although she frequently topped the county charts in the '80s, she had her biggest crossover hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," in 1978. Should have really seen an optometrist for that.

Gayle probably has more street cred than her country peers, particularly due to her collaboration with Tom Waits on the soundtrack to One From The Heart, Francis Ford Coppola's infamous post-Apocalypse Now flop (which takes place in Las Vegas but was constructed entirely on a bizarre studio set - hard to explain). Although the movie still divides critics, the soundtrack generally does not. You're probably thinking, "Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle? There's no way that could work." Oh, there's a way.

But when Gayle paired up with the distinctly less adventurous Eddie Rabbitt for "You and I," she found her way straight into the hearts of Adult Contemporary radio stations everywhere. On my '80s Tape, at the end of the song, a DJ came on and said, "Aww ... gut-wrenching tune, ain't it?" before being cut off by the opening strains of "Yah Mo B There." On one level, I don't relate to the sentiments in "You and I" whatsoever. But the melody is so sweeping, the orchestration is so soaring, and Gayle's voice in particular is so plaintive, I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with that anonymous 1984 DJ on this one.

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