We’re in the middle of “fair season,” with counties and states all around the country putting on fairs around this time of year.  It’s a time for livestock judging, 4H project judging, carnivals, crafts displays, food galore (much of it unhealthy, but, oh, so good), horse races, tractor pulls, monster truck shows, companies showing off the latest and greatest products, and live music shows — just to name a few things.

It’s an exciting time of year for a lot of people.  I’ve got a lot of memories from fair time — as a youth when I’d show dairy cows that I’d raised myself along with seeing whether projects I’d entered in photography and motorcycles won a ribbon, and as an adult when I spent about 10 years being able to get into the Eastern Idaho State Fair with a press pass.  As a journalist, state fair time was always one of the busiest times of every year.

With Labor Day coming up, the biggest day for the EISF is looming.  That’s when it’s packed throughout the grounds.

Maybe fair time is why — when it comes to country music — I think back about this time of year to a lot of the great live music shows I’ve been able to see and photograph, getting right up next to the stage with camera and film in hand.

Someday (Crystal Gayle album)
Someday (Crystal Gayle album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another one of the more memorable shows I got to see was when the award-winning singer Crystal Gayle performed at the fair.

It wasn’t just to see that long, flowing hair of hers either.

Crystal’s style hasn’t been “pure country,” although she started out doing songs written by her legendary sister, Loretta Lynn.  The pressure to do music more like Loretta’s didn’t stop Crystal from breaking out more on her own, and when she did country music fans responded very well.

Where Loretta is “pure country,” through and through, Crystal’s been more crossover, leaning toward jazz and pop.  But with the huge success of songs like “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” on the country charts, few fans at the time were holding that crossover style against her.

There was no arguing with success when it came to Crystal Gayle.


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