Patsy Cline

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Patsy Cline was one of the most influential country singers of the 20th century. Bridging country and pop music with her hugely popular hits packed with emotion and vocal power, she paved the way for other female country artists and further pop experimentation within the country genre.

Who was Patsy Cline?

Patsy Cline was born as Virginia Patterson Hensley on the 8th of September, 1932 to Hilda Virginia and Samuel Lawerence Hensley. After her father left, Patsy’s family struggled for money and she found herself working a range of jobs through her teenage years to support her mother and siblings.

Cline’s musical career began at her local radio station, WINC, when she was just fifteen years old. Then, in the early 1950s, she went on to sing in a local band led by Bill Peer. This involvement in her local music scene led to TV appearances on Connie B. Gay’s Town and Country shows and her first record contract with Four Star in 1954.

Patsy Cline’s success came after a few years of finding her sound and trialling the public’s response to different releases. After she appeared on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts to perform her single “Walkin’ After Midnight”, she found widespread success and achieved her first major hits — impressively, on both country and pop charts.

Cline had a fantastic eight-year recording career, which produced numerous hits such as “I Fall to Pieces”, “Crazy”, and “When I Get Through with You” in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, her life and thriving music career were cut short when she died in a plane crash in March 1963. She was onboard the flight with fellow country performers Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, and the manager Randy Hughes as they travelled from Kansas City to Nashville.

Patsy Cline remains a celebrated and influential musician to this day. She has been credited as a major inspiration to numerous performers across a broad range of musical genres — country, pop, and beyond.

As one of the first female country musicians to sell hit records and headline shows, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Since her death, she has been portrayed in films, documentaries, and musicals, with a global legacy that lives on.

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