Download Leave it to me to take a decidedly sad song and make it into a happy tune that you’d whistle strolling down a country lane. I know it’s supposed to be sorrowful, but the chord progression and tempo both scream happy and carefree. Anyway, this is the way we do it… so there.
“Don’t It make Your Brown Eyes Blue” was originally intended to be recorded by Shirley Bassey (of “Goldfinger” fame – her only hit), but it ultimately went to Brenda Gail Webb… aka Crystal Gayle… who just happened to be the younger sister of Loretta Lynn. When Brenda (Crystal) graduated from high school, she signed with Decca Records, her sister’s label. The producers wanted Brenda to change her first name since there was already a female star out there named Brenda Lee (give me a break – a pox on producers). Loretta Lynn suggested the name “Crystal” after seeing a sign for the Krystal hamburger chain. Brenda thus became “Crystal Gayle”. Fascinating stuff, I know.
Her debut single in 1970 was “I Cried the Blue Right Out of My Eyes” – are we seeing a pattern here? That song peaked at a disappointing #23 on the charts. She eventually had a #2 hit with “You Never Miss a Real Good Thing til’ He Says Goodbye”. Apparently, the girl had a real penchant for looooong titles. Finally, she scored big time with “Brown Eyes Blue” – the most successful song of her career. By the way, her eyes are blue… not brown.
Our arrangement is just a hair jazzier than the original but, trust me, your audience won’t mind. Sing it happy or sad… just sing it.