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Don't it make your short hair long!
June 28, 2010 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Check. Guest appearance on Sesame Street? Check. Big-deal awards for her work? Check. Sibling even more famous than she? Check! But what do people remember Crystal Gayle for?

Why her black, floor-length hair, of course! Frequent questions that came up in interviews: "How did you get your hair so long?" (It grows faster than most people's) "How long is it?" (Five feet) "Do you ever get it cut?" (About 12" off a year). Does your hair give you headaches? (When it's pulled back too tight.) Crystal Gayle speaks about the science of hair on the occasional short feature "Science of the Rich and Famous," from the PBS show Newton's Apple.
posted by Stewriffic (43 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Actually she supposedly does a pretty decent country cover of Bobby "Blue" Bland's 'Ain't No Love in The Heart Of City,' which I have been unable to track down a digital copy of.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


That much hair (anything waist-length and beyond on an adult, actually) always makes me slightly nauseous, no matter clean, healthy, etc. We had a babysitter when I was young who was confused when I was grossed out instead of excited by her offer to "let" me comb her butt-length locks. She was Pentecostal, though, so it was all about religious rules, not show biz.
posted by availablelight at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2010


The "One From the Heart" soundtrack she did with Tom Waits is also worth noting. Here's a sample.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


See that church over there? I built that village church block by block with my bare hands. Do they call me The Churchbuilder?

See that community school over there? I taught in that school as headmaster for 20 years. Do they call me The Educator?

See that tropical garden over there? I designed the whole thing, scoured the globe for exotic species for four years to bring back and plant. Do they call me The Botanist?

I fuck one goat....
posted by MuffinMan at 9:36 AM on June 28, 2010 [11 favorites]


Motivation for this post: Last night out of nowhere the tune for Just You and I came into my head, and I made a friend listen to it over the phone. Told her it was Crystal Gayle, and yes, the only thing my friend remembered was the hair.
posted by Stewriffic at 9:38 AM on June 28, 2010


i totally thought crystal gayle was black.

i apparently live under a rock. on mars. so far under the rock that i've found the water they keep saying must have existed on mars at one time.
posted by sio42 at 9:48 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


availablelight...I thought I was the only person alive who found Gayle's long hair grotesque. Glad to see I'm not alone. I just never understood the attraction.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:50 AM on June 28, 2010


While we're on the subject of overlooked performers with more famous siblings, let's not forget the fabulous Mary Margaret O'Hara.
posted by oulipian at 9:53 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Don't forget that fugitive Chris Gay stole her tour bus when trying make it back to his dying mother.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:56 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


But what do people remember Crystal Gayle for?

I was going to say ...

"The Tom Waits album I am most meh about"

but AZ sort of beat me to it.
posted by edgeways at 9:58 AM on June 28, 2010


You got me excited the Newton's Apple was back on the air.

I will never forget how golf balls work. Nor will I ever find the name "Ira Flatow" not funny.
posted by DU at 9:59 AM on June 28, 2010


Memories. Ah Yes, I recall those good ol' wholesome, dirty jokes about the turning of the brown eye blue.
posted by uraniumwilly at 10:04 AM on June 28, 2010


I've never been able to figure out how I can think Crystal Gayle's hair is beautiful but if I think about it too long, I throw up a little in my mouth. But I'm glad to know I might not be alone in this.

Thanks for this post.

DU: You got me excited the Newton's Apple was back on the air.

How I'd completely forgotten how much I dug this show. If anybody wants to go ahead and make an epic Newton's Apple post, I'd much appreciate it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:07 AM on June 28, 2010


Wow. I never noticed the hair. I was always distracted by her color-changing eyes.
posted by battleshipkropotkin at 10:09 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually she supposedly does a pretty decent country cover of Bobby "Blue" Bland's 'Ain't No Love in The Heart Of City,'

Bland sang it first but it's a Price/Walsh song and has been covered by a ton of people including Paul Weller, Al Brown, Whitesnake, Long John Baldry, and the Allman Brothers. Jay-Z even sampled the BBB version on Blueprint.
posted by dobbs at 10:10 AM on June 28, 2010


$5 says there's a bezoar somewhere in there.
posted by GuyZero at 10:16 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like long hair (and I think it looks pretty on Crystal Gayle), but I admit that I'd worry a little bit about going to the bathroom with hair THAT long. I would be afraid I'd sit down on it or give it an unfortunate dip.
posted by dlugoczaj at 10:19 AM on June 28, 2010


Can someone explain the "hair is gross" sentiment? It definitely seems impractical, just from a maintenance perspective, and styling hair is a lot more work when it's longer, but it doesn't seem disgusting at all.
posted by explosion at 10:27 AM on June 28, 2010


How did I never know she and Loretta Lynn are siblings? I've seen Coal Miner's Daughter so many times!
posted by killy willy at 10:39 AM on June 28, 2010


Crystal Gayle's hair is nice. I used to work with a woman who had similar-length hair, but it was nasty. Thin, ends all split, limp, greasy...ew. Those of you who think Gayle's hair is awful should have seen this. You'd claw your own eyes out.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:41 AM on June 28, 2010


I had absolutely no idea she was Loretta Lynn's sister....that's totally crazy.

I love long hair, but man, when it gets that long, it's just....I don't know. Unsettling. It squicks me in a way I have trouble characterizing.

So thanks for this post, I learned two things...Loretta Lynn and that I love the name of the town where they grew up: Butcher Holler. Might be one of the best band names ever.
posted by nevercalm at 10:43 AM on June 28, 2010


I most remember Crystal Gayle for being awesome.
posted by ND¢ at 10:46 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think people find it gross because it's just a long, dead mass. Sort of like how we are often repulsed at the site of seriously long fingernails.
posted by hermitosis at 10:46 AM on June 28, 2010


Our middle school orchestra totally brought down the house with our rendition of Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue! (not really)

One link that's missing: Crystal's current tour schedule! She'll be at the Alameda County Fair this weekend and at the Grand Casino in Hinkley MN in two weeks with her big sis.
posted by vespabelle at 10:48 AM on June 28, 2010


i totally thought crystal gayle was black.
You might be thinking of Crystal Gail Mangum.

I remember seeing Crystal Gayle on an awards show sometime in the 1980s. An overhead camera shot revealed that the area around her center part was a large bald spot (probably traction alopecia from the weight of all that hair).
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2010


nevercalm: I love the name of the town where they grew up: Butcher Holler. Might be one of the best band names ever.

According to a quick Google search, someone has already named their band this. (I can't tell for sure because MySpace is blocked at work.) This makes me feel very much like I understand the universe, and if it hadn't already existed, I was going to have to put together a honky tonk/bluegrass trio just to make sure it did.

(And those of you who know my musical abilities...well, let's just say this is a good thing.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:49 AM on June 28, 2010


Oriole Adams: traction alopecia

Also a good band name
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:50 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know why, but recently, I've had that same "Ew, her hair is so long and that's so gross" sentiment, but only when the hair is long and all one length. I have no idea when or why I feel that way. Someone could have absolutely beautiful, healthy looking hair, but if it's long and straight and not styled or cut in flattering lawyers, it seems gross. I didn't feel this way two decades ago. I thought nothing was prettier than long, shiny, thick hair.
posted by anniecat at 10:54 AM on June 28, 2010


if it's long and straight and not styled or cut in flattering lawyers, it seems gross

For the amount that they charge, I think the lawyers ought to be the ones doing the flattering.
posted by headnsouth at 11:02 AM on June 28, 2010


if it's long and straight and not styled or cut in flattering lawyers, it seems gross

I was just reading a document from my org's lawyer, too. Focus, anniecat, focus. I suppose I will end up mentioning hair to her later.
posted by anniecat at 11:21 AM on June 28, 2010


When we went to Chicagofest in 1982, my brother was all excited about seeing Crystal Gayle perform; I was all excited about seeing Joan Jett. That tells you just about all you need to know about the difference between us.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:42 AM on June 28, 2010


There's something about very long hair on physically mature women which says "unwilling / unable to escape childhood because that's when my hair, and by extension myself were most admired". If you're a young girl who is insecure and someone remarks that your nose is pretty you might use that as a kind of rock on which you build some semblance of self-confidence moving into adulthood. You might think "well, life sucks, but at least I have a pretty nose!" But it's difficult to emphasise a nose. With hair (usually the last resort of someone fishing to offer a compliment on the appearance of someone else's child) the owner of the hair can go wild. Like Crystal Gayle wild.

I didn't have to think about that, although I've never attempted to articulate that eurghh feeling that I get with longer hair. So thanks, Crystal.
posted by tigrefacile at 11:53 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just remembered what grossed me out about long hair. It was that story about the womanwho ate her hair and how her surgeon found 10 pounds of hair in her stomach. It makes me gag.
posted by anniecat at 1:11 PM on June 28, 2010


That's what a bezoar is. And it's MAGIC.
posted by GuyZero at 1:47 PM on June 28, 2010


But what do people remember Crystal Gayle for ?

For one more thing to hold against her, Art Bell was always going on and on about her in Coast to Coast back in the day. He luuuved her. Her and her hair.

As for One From The Heart , I was pretty med about the soundtrack, too, but, man, what a set of opening titles. And what a cast. You got to see a lot of Teri Garr in her prime and Raoul Julia was on fire. That movie had its flaws but, man, it had some moments, too.
posted by y2karl at 2:40 PM on June 28, 2010


I fuck one goat muffin....
posted by MuffinMan at 11:36 AM

posted by Evilspork at 3:14 PM on June 28, 2010


I used to love her music and her hair as a kid. I really admired it and wished I could grow it that long. I did eventually wind up keeping thigh length hair for more than a decade, but it wouldn't really go past that.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:33 PM on June 28, 2010


Bland sang it first but it's a Price/Walsh song and has been covered by a ton of people including Paul Weller, Al Brown, Whitesnake, Long John Baldry, and the Allman Brothers. Jay-Z even sampled the BBB version on Blueprint.

Thank You, Captain Obvious.
posted by jonmc at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2010


I used to have a thing for growing my hair out long. It eventually got overwhelmed by my desire to do quick buns and not have it all straggly at the bottom.
posted by rubah at 8:17 PM on June 28, 2010


WAIT. There's a NEW Newton's Apple?!?!? I hope it's nothing like the new Electric Company!
posted by Mael Oui at 9:00 PM on June 28, 2010


Thank You, Captain Obvious.

So you refer to songs as being such and such's song if they recorded it first--rather than who wrote it? Like, Ray Stevens' Sunday Morning Coming Down or Roger Miller's Me And Bobby McGhee instead of Kris Kristofferson's...? That's fuckin' weird, dude.
posted by dobbs at 9:23 PM on June 28, 2010


What do I remember her for? Every time I pass by River Road I think of "Here I go, once again, with my suitcase in my hand . . .".
posted by Man with Lantern at 7:40 AM on June 29, 2010


I was pretty med about the soundtrack, too...

Er, meh.

While at first viewing, who knows, I may have been in medded bliss -- in the longer view I was and remain meh. As in thanks but no thanks for the meh-mory.
posted by y2karl at 10:40 AM on July 5, 2010


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