Profile of Patsy Cline
Name at birth: Virginia Patterson Hensley
Patsy Cline's husky, plaintive voice, and hit singles like "Crazy," made her one of the early stars of modern country music. She worked her way up through local clubs and Nashville bands until getting her big break: singing "Walkin' After Midnight" for a national TV audience on the popular TV program Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1957. The song went on to make both the country and pop charts, and Cline's career took off. She was the first female country star to cross over into pop, with hits including "Crazy" and "I Fall To Pieces," and her friendly "Howdy, folks!" style endeared her to fans. At the height of her fame she was killed in a small-plane crash in stormy weather near Camden, Tennessee, while returning from a concert in Kansas City. She released three albums before her death: Patsy (1957), Showcase (1961) and Sentimentally Yours (1962). Cline was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.
She used the stage name Patsy Hensley before marrying Gerald Cline in 1953. They were divorced in 1957, and she married Charlie Dick later that same year. They had a daughter, Julia (b. 1958) and a son, Allen (b. 1961)… "I Fall To Pieces" is alleged to be Bill Clinton’s favorite song… Cline was nearly killed in a car wreck on 14 June 1961, being thrown through the windshield in a head-on crash, but recovered and returned to singing a few months later… Also killed in the plane crash that killed Cline were country musicians Harold “Hankshaw” Hawkins and Lloyd “Cowboy” Copas, and Cline’s manager, Randy Hughes.
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