By the Way

‘Shake ’n’ bake’ — Crystal Gayle talks Ricky Bobby’s famous T-shirt

Crystal Gayle said she sold a lot of merchandise after Will Ferrell wore this t-shirt in “Talladega Nights.”
Crystal Gayle said she sold a lot of merchandise after Will Ferrell wore this t-shirt in “Talladega Nights.” Courtesy

Singer Crystal Gayle will always be remembered for her 1978 mega-hit “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” which went straight to the the top of the country and pop music charts.

But in 2006, there was a Crystal Gayle resurgence sweeping the nation due to the 2006 film “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.” In one of the film’s many iconic scenes, actor Will Ferrell wears a T-shirt with Gayle’s face on it. It was a move Gayle said helped to sell her a lot of merchandise, especially the “Crystal Gayle On Tour” T-shirt.

“Will also wore a a Judds shirt in ‘Step Brothers,’” Gayle said. “Right after ‘Talladega Nights’ came out, we had people wanting that shirt — we actually had to start making them again because people were throwing ‘Talladega Nights’ parties and they wanted to wear the shirt. They were ordering them several at a time.”

Ferrell donned the now-famous shirt in a scene when his dad, played by Gary Cole, wants him to get over his fear of driving after a particularly bad crash. In an effort to do this, he puts a live cougar in his car.

Well, I was mauled by a cougar, I learned nothing about driving and my Crystal Gayle shirt was ruined.

Ricky Bobby in ‘Talladega Nights’

“I’ve been keepin’ it in the bathroom at my motel, feedin’ it old pizza — boy, get in that car,” is one of the memorable lines from the scene.

“It was really funny that they used that shirt and it was very nice,” Gayle said. “I had people calling me and telling me that Will was wearing my shirt — at first I didn’t know what they were talking about.”

The T-shirt is still available online at Gayle’s website. It sells for $25.

Gayle will be at the Island View Casino in Gulfport at 8 p.m. on Saturday. And will she have the shirt available at her merchandise table? I’m taking my $25 in hopes the answer is yes.