Lacy J. Dalton
Lacy Dalton , who was born as Jill Byrem in Bloomfield, PA (and who also recorded under the married name of Jill Croston), had a bright star on the country music scene for nearly a decade. Dalton grew up in the mining communities of Pennsylvania, but her first musical love was the early '60s protest music made famous by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. After dropping out of college in the late '60s, she migrated to San Francisco, where she tried breaking into to the music industry as a protest singer.
She was spotted by the manager of a Bay Area psychedelic rock band who decided to transform her in the same way Janis Joplin had gone from singing solo folk music and blues to electric rock with a full band. She married him, changing her name to Jill Croston and fronted the group, the Office, which he was representing.
The Office never took off, and when Dalton's husband drowned in a swimming pool accident, she decided to re-invent herself as a country singer. Dalton was still using her married name when she got her first album on an independent label in the late 1970s. That record helped get her noticed by Nashville producer Billy Sherrill, who signed her to CBS/Sony Nashville, at which time she adopted the name Lacy J. Dalton, taken from the famous outlaws of the Old West.
Her first single, "Crazy Blue Eyes" debuted in 1979 and immediately went to the Top 20 and helped get her named Best New Artist by the Country Music Association. A string of several hit singles through 1984 kept Dalton and her band, the Dalton Gang, one of the busiest live acts on the country music circuit. Dalton's popularity began to wane in the late 1980s, and in 1992 she moved to Capitol Records where she cut an additional four albums.
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