Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline, (September 8, 1932March 5, 1963) was an American country music singer.

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Patsy Cline

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, United States, she received her first contract as a country singer in 1953 and, despite her short life, would become one of the most influential singers in history. Cline was the last name of her first husband, Gerald Cline, a construction industry mogul, from whom she married in 1953 and divorced in 1957.

Her breakthrough hit was "Walkin' After Midnight" (1957), written by Don Hecht and Alan Block. She became a mainstay on the country music showcase "Grand Ole Opry" in 1960. Though she began her career recording rockabilly, it became clear that Cline's voice was best suited for pop/country crossover tunes. Some signature songs are "Crazy" (written by Willie Nelson but forever linked to Cline), "She's Got You," "I Fall To Pieces", and "Sweet Dreams."

On June 14, 1961, Patsy Cline and her brother were involved in a head-on car collision. The impact of the accident threw Patsy through the windshield, nearly killing her. Suffering from a jagged cut across her forehead that required stitches, a broken wrist, and a dislocated hip, she spent a month in the hospital. When she left the hospital, her forehead was still visibly scarred.

In 1957, Cline married Charles Allen Dick, who worked as a linotype operator for the Winchester Star. They had a daughter, Julia Simadore Dick (1958-; now known as Julie Fudge), and a son, Allen Randolph "Randy" Dick (1961-). Were she alive today, she would have had four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In addition to her affair with Randy Hughes, Cline also had an affair with Bill Peer, her first manager. (*The reports of Miss Cline's affairs are personal assumptions from various persons interviewed many years after her death. Most of these interviews were for use in the makings of books and such about Miss Cline. Since most of the parties mentioned to have been involved in these affairs were deceased, these affairs could not be proven.*) After Cline's death, Charlie Dick married and divorced Jamey Ryan, also a singer, and had a son, Charles Allen Dick, Jr.

Cline died in a plane crash at Camden, Tennessee while returning from Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 30, in 1963. On the airplane with her and also killed were three other country music figures who were fairly well-known at the time, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Randy Hughes, and Cowboy Copas. Hughes, then Cline's lover and manager, was the plane's pilot. Country singer Jack Anglin died in an automobile accident while driving to her funeral.

Cline is interred in the Shenendoah Memorial Park cemetery, in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.

Among her many honors, she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6160 Hollywood Blvd, she was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973, in 1993 she was honored with her image on a United States postage stamp and in 1995, she was awarded posthumously a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 1985 movie Sweet Dreams starring Jessica Lange, is based on her adult life and is said by some familiar with her to be fairly accurate in many respects, although some have disputed its portrayal of her mercurial relationship with second husband Charlie Dick (portrayed in the film by Ed Harris). However, its depiction of the plane crash as occurring in high desert mountains totally unlike any terrain found in West Tennessee is wildly inaccurate.

"I Fall to Pieces" was voted #107 on the RIAA list of the Songs of the Century.

Further reading

  • In The Country of Country: A Journey to the Roots of American Music,

Nicholas Dawidoff, Vintage Books, 1998, ISBN 0-375-70082-x

External links

[1] ( IMDb entry for Sweet Dreams

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