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Review: An evening with Grammy winner Crystal Gayle at Adelphi University (Includes first-hand account)

Blyth Daylong, the executive director of the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, made the welcoming remarks, who subsequently introduce Crystal Gayle as a living “legend.” This marked her first concert on Long Island in over 10 years, and she played for an excellent turnout.

Her talented band consisted of such gifted musicians and instrumentalists as her musical director Jay Patten on saxophone, mandolin and guitar, her sister Peggy Sue Wright on background vocals, John Kearns on guitar and vocals, Steve Willetts on keyboards on vocals, Duane Norman on drums, Rob Price on bass and vocals, as well as Billy Contreras on fiddle.

Gayle opened her set with “Half the Way” with Peggy Sue on backing vocals. It was followed by the upbeat and cheery “Never Ending Song of Love,” where yellow lights graced the stage, and it featured a killer violin solo as the audience was clapping along.

“Thank you,” Gayle said, graciously. “I”m going to start out with songs that started my career for me.” It was followed by “”Wrong Road Again”” and her first No. 1 hit “I’ll Get Over You,” where Peggy Sue joined her on background vocals. “Thank you. Welcome. Thank you for coming out tonight. We love it in New York. This is such a beautiful theater. You’re lucky,’ Gayle told the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center audience.

She dedicated the classic “Those Were the Days” to all of her friends that she has made over the years, as well as all the friends that she continues to make. She had the fans clapping, as she showcased some neat dance moves, thus allowing her warm and vibrant personality to shine.

Gayle picked up the pace with the infectious “Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For,” which received an enormous response.

Blue lights dimmed on the stage when she sang “Talking in Your Sleep,” thus capturing the mood of the song, and one could hear a pin drop in the venue when she serenaded the audience to this chart-topping tune. It was followed by the mid-tempo “Ribbon of Darkness,” where she tipped her hat to the late Marty Robbins. She shared that this song is special for Gayle since it was the first song that she performed at the Grand Ole Opry at the young age of 17; moreover, she recently became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, which was a “very special night.” “I’ve always felt I was [a member], but now I have the paperwork to prove it,” she said, with a sweet laugh.

She also paid homage to her late “friend” Eddy Arnold with “You Don’t Know Me,” and she delivered a gorgeous rendition of the Patsy Cline classic “Walkin’ After Midnight.” Jay Patten joined her for a memorable duet of the finger-snapping and swinging”There’s A Rainbow.” “Love that song. Jay wrote it. He’s a great songwriter,” Gayle said, praising her musical director.

Patten switched over to mandolin for the Allen Reynolds-penned tune, “Ready for the Times to Get Better,” which was yet another No. 1 hit for Gayle. “Aren’t they great,” Gayle complimented her band members, prior to sharing that they are all Nashville recording studio musicians.

Gayle and Peggy Sue paid tribute to their older sister, country queen Loretta Lynn, by singing “Coal Miner’s Daughter” together. “How’s Loretta doing?” a fan asked them from the audience. They shared that Loretta recently suffered a stroke, but she is “doing good, and we want to keep it that way. Keep on praying!” They also noted that Loretta is upset that she is not out there playing for the fans, since she loves the road so much.

They picked up the pace with a fiddle-driven, upbeat version of “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” She went on to display her controlled, powerhouse voice on “When I Dream.” Peggy Sue went on to sing “Don’t Come Home A-Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” with Gayle on backing vocals, which became Loretta Lynn’s first No. 1 single on country radio from the first gold certified album (of the same name) by a female country artist.

Gayle and Peggy Sue also delivered on their Tammy Wynette cover of “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” and they continued with the mid-tempo “That’s What I Like About the South.”

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It was followed by the song that everybody was waiting for, her Grammy-winning signature tune “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” After a dynamic version of “Cry,” she sang a medley of “I Saw the Light,” “Somebody Touched Me,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “Jesus on the Main Line.” She closed her show on an upbeat note with the nostalgic “Rocky Top Tennessee,” where everybody was clapping along.

The Verdict

Overall, Crystal Gayle was one true song stylist at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center. Her vocals were heavenly, timeless and mellifluous. She was able to perform comfortably in an intimate setting, as she took her fans on a musical journey over the years. Her band was incredible as well. Whoever has yet to see Gayle perform live is truly missing out. A ticket to her concert should be on everybody’s bucket-list. This show is a substantial indication that Gayle deserves to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in the near future. If there are any doubts, all they need to see is a highlight reel of her performance at the Adelphi University Performing Arts Center. Her live show garnered an A+ rating.

To learn more about veteran country sensation Crystal Gayle and her touring schedule, check out her official website.

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