OREM — A Crystal Gayle concert is good clean fun.

With a twinkle in her eye, she delivered many of her nearly three dozen hits, including No. 1 hits, in top form Monday night. Backed by a tight studio band from Nashville, Tenn., the other coal miner's daughter from Kentucky saved one of her most enduring hits for near last, "Don't it Make My Brown Eyes Blue."

Gayle's concert was the last in the summer series at the SCERA Shell Outdoor Theatre. The petite singer began in a red and black costume with black leggings and knee high boots. During intermission, she switched to a black outfit glittering with silver sequins. Of course the most striking part of her appearance is her signature, ankle-length coal black hair.

She began with a medley of her early songs, then moved through other high points in her career, including old standards and composer Hoagy Carmicheal tunes. Gayle worked with Carmicheal the summer before he died, she said.

After a rapid succession of top hits including "Living in These Troubled Times," "Talking in your Sleep," and "If You Ever Change Your Mind," the versatile country singer threw in a few gospel numbers.

During part of the concert, the drummer and keyboarder took a break while Gayle sang many of her hits with just acoustic strings — guitar, bass and mandolin, and her backup singer, a wonderful blend of family vocal chords.

At one point she turned center stage over to her backup singer, really an older sister, Peggy Sue Webb, for three comedic numbers. Gayle also played straight man to her sister's jokes. She made only occasional references to another older sister, country legend Loretta Lynn, who recently underwent shoulder replacement surgery.

"Keep her in your prayers," she said to the capacity audience.


E-mail: rodger@desnews.com