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Patsy Cline

One of the greatest singers in the history of country music, Patsy Cline also helped blaze a trail for female singers to assert themselves as an integral part of the Nashville-dominated country music industry. She was not alone in this regard; Kitty Wells had become a star several years before Cline's big hits in the early '60s. Brenda Lee, who shared Cline's producer, did just as much to create a country-pop crossover during the same era; Skeeter Davis briefly enjoyed similar success. Cline has the most legendary aura of any female country singer, however, perhaps due to an early death that cut her off just after she had entered her prime.

Cline began recording in the mid-'50s, and although she recorded quite a bit of material between 1955 and 1960 (17 singles in all), only one of them was a hit. That song, "Walkin' After Midnight," was both a classic and a Top 20 pop smash. Those who are accustomed to Cline's famous early-'60s hits are in for a bit of a shock when surveying her '50s sessions (which have been reissued on several Rhino compilations). At times she sang flat-out rockabilly; she also tried some churchy tear-weepers. She couldn't follow up "Walkin' After Midnight," however, in part because of an exploitative deal that limited her to songs from one publishing company.

Circumstances were not wholly to blame for Cline's commercial failures. She would have never made it as a rockabilly singer, lacking the conviction of Wanda Jackson or the spunk of Brenda Lee. In fact, in comparison with her best work, she sounds rather stiff and ill-at-ease on most of her early singles. Things took a radical turn for the better on all fronts in 1960, when her initial contract expired. With the help of producer Owen Bradley (who had worked on her sessions all along), Cline began selecting material that was both more suitable and of a higher quality than her previous outings.

"I Fall to Pieces," cut at the very first session where Cline was at liberty to record what she wanted, was the turning point in her career. Reaching number one in the country charts and number 12 pop, it was the first of several country-pop crossovers she was to enjoy over the next couple of years. More important, it set a prototype for commercial Nashville country at its best. Owen Bradley crafted lush orchestral arrangements, with weeping strings and backup vocals by the Jordanaires, that owed more to pop (in the best sense) than country.

The country elements were provided by the cream of Nashville's session musicians, including guitarist Hank Garland, pianist Floyd Cramer, and drummer Buddy Harmon. Cline's voice sounded richer, more confident, and more mature, with ageless wise and vulnerable qualities that have enabled her records to maintain their appeal with subsequent generations. When k.d. lang recorded her 1988 album Shadowland with Owen Bradley, it was this phase of Cline's career that she was specifically attempting to emulate.

It's arguable that too much has been made of Cline's crossover appeal to the pop market. Brenda Lee, whose records were graced with similar Bradley productions, was actually more successful in this area (although her records were likely targeted toward a younger audience). Cline's appeal was undeniably more adult, but she was always more successful with country listeners. Her final four Top Ten country singles, in fact, didn't make the pop Top 40.

Despite a severe auto accident in 1961, Cline remained hot through 1961 and 1962, with "Crazy" and "She's Got You" both becoming big country and pop hits. Much of her achingly romantic material was supplied by fresh talent like Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard, and Willie Nelson (who penned "Crazy"). Although her commercial momentum had faded slightly, she was still at the top of her game when she died in a plane crash in March of 1963, at the age of 30. She was only a big star for a couple of years, but her influence was and remains huge. While the standards of professionalism on her recordings have been emulated ever since, they've rarely been complemented by as much palpable, at times heartbreaking emotion in the performances. For those who could do without some of more elaborate arrangements of her later years, many of her relatively unadorned appearances on radio broadcasts have been thankfully preserved and issued. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Patsy Cline Collection

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4

Comments

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darlenejchoq
The voice of velvet. Rest in peace Patsy!
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Beautiful voice ,music and lyriics
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B i
I love patsy all my life and I always remember her every time i heard a song by her on the radio.
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I LOVE MY Patsy
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artist685
I think Patsy would have had a beer with me and I was not talking about her fans memories. Of course we all have memories when a song comes on, especially if it reminds us of our past or present loved ones. If I'm expressing my love for her talent, that's my freedom of expression. You have yours. It's America. Lol! I do not have anger.....lo l ! For crying out loud.....its Pandora. And you can not tell the tone in an email/text. Lol. Have a blessed day.
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artist685
Phienix222da y , never meant to offend you!
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Do you feel Patsy would agree with you, that having her music remind someone of their Grandmother is, as you declared, "RIDICULOUS? " I think not my friend. :-)
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Dear artist685... for some... talking about their childhood... IS ...talking about the music. All they may be saying is... "THAT is where this music moves me. THAT is how it sends me back in my memories. THAT is how it makes me feel." Some may even express they feel "passion" in Patsy's voice... but what if someone else... who knew her... said that what she was feeling had little to do with "passion" and more to do with "anger" about some previously painful experience. Remember dear. Artis
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artist685
Sweet dreams...... . . m a k e s me tear up! Love her passionate voice.
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She was one of tbes singers.
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hey
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I love listening to dollie Parton and Norah Jones and pasty cline voices
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artist685
Good grief....... . w h y do some of you post so many ridiculous postings? Seriously, we don't care about your childhoods?? ? ? ? You should post about the music.
Saying that, Patsy Cline was one of the all time best singers EVER! Leann Rimes does sing Patsy great, but there will never be another Patsy Cline. Loved her music.
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t_heath
What a great voice she had!! Could listen to her all day!!!
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Nice
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patsy cline knows how awoman feels its as if she sang it for me I love you and your wonderful songs
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I would love to hear Patsy Cline sing " You Belong To Me ", she sounds like Jo Stafford.
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I love all her songs, cause there all me!! :"(
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md1728
I went "over the wall" to see her perform in Bladensburg Mdin the 50s. Got caught, but it was worth the punishment.
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This lady could not have a "bad song!" Besides being one classy lady she had a voice that I have yet to accurately describe. THE BEST!!
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I wish I know the lyrics. Too bad they don't include lyrics to each song :-(
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I used to listen to her songs with my grandma on the radio back in the 1970s.
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I love patsy cline
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When Patsy Cline sings "You Belong to Me" she sounds so much like Jo Stafford (WWll singer) it is hauntingly beautiful! That song was sung for WWll pilots. As a pilot, the words have such meaning. It makes one very grateful to those pilots!
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reaper.1976. a l
Beautiful voice, gone way too soon
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Pandora has it all!!!
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Etta James, At Last...my love has come along, at last the stars above are blue. She found her her dream she could call her own.
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Running bear loved little White Dove with a love as big as the sky.
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Life of entertainmen t .
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Thinking she like Elvis Presley needed to get away from the wild lif of music.
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Still many still believe Ms. Patsy Cline has never died in that plane crash.
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You can depend on Me.
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Put your sweet lips a little closer to the phone. Tell the man there with you he'll have to go.
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Trail blazer
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One of a kind. Taken 2 soon
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Got a minute ? There's a church that was built and they need monetary donations to help cover expenses , the church is Saint Patrick church - 1046 E. 34 th street Los Angeles California 90011 - (323) 232- 8756 ( 323) 234- 5963 - Pastor Rev. Timothy Dyer - Jesus is God :)
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My favorite songs are endless with Patsy Cline, but I love "Leaving on Your Mind" !
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Patsy Cline was in a class by herself. Never forget to have one of her tapes or CDs in my bags when I leave on my trips!
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I Love Pasty Singing She Such A classy Lady God Bless You Up Their In The Heavens Pasty . Charles Joseph .
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Sweet Dreams of You By Pasty Cline a beautifull country song
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Love I Fall To Pieces by Patsy Cline .
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thuethuesen
Say iPhone
Say a color
Post this on 5 more songs
Look under your pillow
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An all too short career.
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gerdbaby
None better, today, tomorrow, and forever
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Love I Fall To Pieces by Patsy Cline
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More : )
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I'm only 35 but I love Patsy!!!
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Never leave on my trips without having Patsy Cline with me!! That voice was silenced so tragically soon!!
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Sing it Patsy
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Love Pasty Cline Always
Show more

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