Singer. Born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932,
in Winchester, Virginia. A country music legend, Patsy Cline
helped break down the gender barrier in this musical genre.
Known for her smooth-sounding, emotive voice, she started performing
at a young age. Cline taught herself to play piano and became
interested in country music.
After a few earlier attempts to get her career started, Patsy Cline
got a recording contact in the mid-1950s. This led to the release
of one of her greatest hits, “Walkin’ After Midnight.” Sales of the
song took off until she performed it on a television talent show in 1957.
After her appearance on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, the song hit
the country and pop charts.
In the early 1960s, Patsy Cline joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry
in Nashville, Tennessee—a true sign of her place in country music.
Now with Decca Records, she released some of her greatest hits.
“I Fall to Pieces” hit the top of the country charts and “Crazy”
did almost as well. Outspoken, she developed a bit of tough persona.
Still, Cline took the time to help other female performers,
such as Loretta Lynn, with their careers.
Patsy Cline’s own career was all too brief. She died on March 5, 1963,
in a plane crash. After her death, the song “Sweet Dreams” was released
and became a hit. Considering one of country music’s greatest vocalists,
she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.
Her life became the subject of the 1985 film, Sweet Dreams,
starring Jessica Lange. Her music remains popular today with fans
around the world.
Patsy Cline was married to Gerald Cline for a time in the mid-1950s,
but the union was short-lived. She married Charlie Dick in 1957
and together they had two children, Julia and Allen Randolph.
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