Inspired by her sister Loretta Lynn’s success, Crystal Gayle decided that a music career was her calling, too. She was born Brenda Gail Web but changed her name to Crystal when she was 16. The young singer’s first single “I Cried the Blue Right Out of My Eyes” (1970), reached No. 23 on the country charts.
In 1977, her single “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” shot her to fame. It was her first No. 1 song. Since then, Crystal has won a Grammy, two CMA awards, and American Music awards. In 2017, she became a member of the prestigious Grand Ole Opry.
Born Mirriam Johnson, Jessie Colter is a well-known face in the country music scene. You may know her as Waylon Jenning’s better half. The couple has worked on some famous collaborations together over the years. Jessie is best known for her 1975 hit “I’m Not Lisa” – a crossover song that topped both the country and pop charts.
She released a few more songs, but none came close to the commercial success of her first one. The singer is still actively performing, writing, and recording. In 2017, she released an album called “The Psalms” – her first album in over ten years.
Donna Fargo almost did not become a singer. She had been singing for years but never considered a career in it until she met Stan Silver, who became her manager and husband. Donna signed with Dot Records in 1972 and recorded “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.”, for which she eventually won a CMA and Grammy award.
The song paved the way for 15 more top hits. Donna had some health scares in between but came out on top. She seems to be enjoying life away from the limelight these days. Donna has penned her autobiography and occasionally writes poetry.
Anne Murray’s songs have appealed to music lovers over her 40-year career. Her first hit was “Snowbird” in 1970, which reached No. 1 on the U.S. charts. She became the first Canadian artist to achieve the feat. Anne became a superstar in 1978 with her single “You Needed Me.”
The song’s release marked the beginning of a successful run. She released several hit singles in 1979, including "I’ll Just Fall in Love Again" and "Shadows in the Moonlight.” She retired in 2018. Overall, the songstress racked up four Grammys, 24 Junos (a record), three AMAs, three CMAs, and three Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
Sammi Smith was one of the few artists who took country music outside the hallowed halls of Nashville. Sammi signed with Columbia Records in 1967, where she first met a janitor named Kris Kristofferson.
Her initial days at Columbia saw moderate success. In the ‘70s, she released a single called “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” written by her friend, Kris. The song shot to the top of the country charts, eventually earning the singer a Grammy in 1972. Sammi recorded seven more albums and at least 16 songs that stayed on the charts. Sadly, Sammi died at her Oklahoma home in 2005.