We recently caught up with Grand Ole Opry member and Grammy winner Crystal Gayle by phone from her home in Nashville. Gayle, the youngest sister of Loretta Lynn, is celebrating the release of You Don’t Know Me, her first album in 16 years, co-produced, recorded and mixed by her son, Christos Gatzimos. Gayle is known for her hits Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue and Talking in Your Sleep; her other work includes pairing with Tom Waits for the score of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1982 film One From the Heart. On Jan. 9, Gayle turns 69.
What’s on your nightstand?
I always have books out, and my shelves are full from biographies to cookbooks to books on metaphysics, but I’m reading one of my all-time favorite authors right now, David Baldacci. I’m reading Long Road to Mercy.
What makes him your favorite?
It is definitely his ability to create stories. I was hooked with Absolute Power. Some authors I start to read, and I can’t make it through the first chapter, but the way he writes, he makes it so I am right there with him. Another author I recently got into was Steve Cavanaugh. I read a couple of his. I enjoy intrigue.
Were you read to as a child?
My mother read the Bible. She read that all the time when we were younger. She didn’t have a lot of time to read, but I do recall the Bible being there always.
Is there a book that stands out in your memory that made you realize you loved reading?
I actually have a great memory about books. I remember when my brother Jay Lee, who had moved to Washington, sent me a box of books as a present. I might have been 8. I will always remember the feeling of opening that big box of books. It hit me in the heart. I really loved opening the books and going where the story took me. I don’t remember the titles, but it was a special present. And, of course, there is also another special book for me that I always keep out. I always have my sister Loretta’s book out on my nightstand, Coal Miner’s Daughter. It is one of my favorites of all time.