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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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She was before I was born , but she is my favorite female singer. As for me . The female singers could learn a thing are two
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tmccrink
the greatest female singer of all time no doubt
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LOVE, LOVE , LOVE PATSY!!
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To artist685. I send greetings and good cheer to you artist! All your posts show a real passion and familiarity with Patsy. Give us a hint.
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Patsy Cline music really does something to me. How about you? There was a pure sound and real love that comes through her voice. It was a better time then. I love you all.
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That song give chill ❤️❤️Amy from Mississippi ❤️��❤️��❤️��
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RIP BEAUTIFUL LOVE LISTENING TO YOUR MUSIC NEVER GETS TIRING TO LIST'N TO YOUR MUSIC, DARL'N
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Patsy Cline is my all rime favorite female singer Love her music
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artist685
Sweet Dreams! I love it! A voice doesn't get any better.
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You belong to me--- totally one of my very, very favorite tracks-- I love all artists who sing this track, especially Patsy!
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Could listen to this voice FOREVER!!!!!
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Great music and talent. She left us way too early
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lley730
Don't read this bc it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will be injured in two days. Now that u started reading this won't stop. Post this on at least five other stations or songs in the next 143 minutes. When ur done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letter. This is so scary this actually works.
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knobbyknees4 2
In My Own Opinion She Was One Of the best female singers ever!!!!!
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artist685
Her family member had said to me that Patsy sang out of anger not passion. That tells me that she had an amazing outlet for her to release her anger and turn it into a lucrative career and turned that anger into a velvet voice with tremendous passion that still moves people today. She can make you stop in your tracks with her God given voice.
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Love you, Patsy. What a sweetheart. What a gal! What a girl! What a woman ! What a singer !
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A voice that no matter where I am, I stop, and revel in the gift of this voice.
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A voice that no matter where I am, or what, I are doing--
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Love her music, can listen to her over, and over.
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Patsy is the very best female singer of all time.
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Patsy Cline was
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Love All Patsy Cline Music .
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Positively a great singer...no doubt about it!
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Loved Her voice.
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That lady had a voice that one cannot forget! Still love her music and I've been listening to her since I was little. .
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i this song
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haleyleuze
Rest in peace great aunt patsy
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Its so ME. WHEN THAT B**CH CAME ALONG
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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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