OXFORD – Rain has a way of spoiling people’s plans, especially outdoor activities like picnics, fairs, and festivals. But for true country music fans, it takes a lot more than Saturday showers to deter them from their destination.
On the fourth and final day of the Oxford County Fair, many – including some from out of state – were determined to make it to the fairgrounds to see country music legend Crystal Gayle – and her legendary bits – take the stage.
It can be difficult to get some things past the real fans.
As Gayle lifted the microphone above her, tilting her head back and sending her iconic long black hair flowing down to the floor, some in the crowd noticed it stopped at her ankles.
“Did you cut your hair?” shouted a member of the audience.
Without missing a beat, Gayle confirmed the cut, noting that it had been “hooked a lot by the Velcro”. A sea of laughter marked the approval of the fans.
Dressed in black leather boots and a studded black dress that served to showcase the singer’s silver necklace, earrings and barrette, Gayle twinkled on stage as purple lights shone on her.
“Wrong Road Again” blackmailed the audience as Gayle opened her arms to the sky before shaking her hair out.
As she moves on to the next song, it’s clear the band isn’t following. Always an interpreter, she does not let herself be distracted.
“Her paper was wet,” she laughed to the crowd, who could already confirm it was raining. “And they don’t get (to see the final roster before) the very end.” Are you ready now? “
The band resumed as if they had never been interrupted and Gayle sang rich notes before the lights flashed orange.
It was when she sang “Talking in your sleep” that the crowd went wild. It seemed that Gayle was singing for each member of the audience, arms outstretched, lights dancing on the pearls of her dress. The audience started singing for her.
Blue Jay Petter, his saxophonist who initially opened the show, explained that they played this next track in Washington, DC for the president – taking a slight break before wrapping up – dairy workers. He and Gayle then played a jazzy tune he had composed, a Broadway-Chicago jazz style that made audience members bounce to the beat.
When Gayle introduced her band to the audience, she gave everyone an introduction: Scott on guitar who danced on stage; Rob Price, who sang a Welsh song; Miles Thompson on violin, which could be found on YouTube; Steve Willis, who played the piano; then Peggy Sue, her sister, who made a duet with her.
Gayle asked the audience how many of them didn’t know Peggy was his sister. A few raised their hands. Peggy laughed and said she didn’t know either.
Sporting her own chance to address the public, Peggy Sue wasted no time telling a story about how her husband never helps around the house.
When she asked him to fix the dishwasher, he said, “How do I look, a repairman?” She asked him to fix the car, to which he replied, “How do I look, an auto mechanic?”
When he got home later, Peggy Sue said she asked their neighbor to fix everything, and he did it all. When her husband asked her how much it cost, she replied that her neighbor “wanted a cake or some love”.
Her husband asked, “Well, what kind of cake have you made? To which she replied, “What do I look like, Betty Crocker?” The audience then burst into a long, warm laugh.
For a moment, it was just two sisters on stage, laughing and joking, and singing a song by their other sister, Loretta Lynn. It gave the audience a glimpse of the family. Then, as the purple lights shone on her and the group again, they lined up and started performing in front of the Oxford crowd again.
Nine ambulance services help evacuate patients from Stephens Memorial Hospital as firefighters search for source of smoke