Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963), born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Gore, Virginia, was an American country music singer who was successful in pop music crossovers during the early 1960s era of the Nashville Sound. Prior to her death at the age of 30 in a private plane crash, she was at the height of her career. She is considered to be one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.
Cline was best known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice, and her role as a pioneer in the country music industry. She helped pave the way for headlining women in country music. Prior to the early 1960's, so-called "girl singers" were seen by the male-dominated realm of country music as mere "window dressing", only necessary to attract male listeners to their shows. Cline's rise to popularity changed that, and she has been cited as an inspiration by singers in several music genres. There are books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays documenting her life and career.
Some of the more notable big hits she had during her lifetime began in 1957 with Donn Hecht's "Walkin' After Midnight", Harlan Howard's "I Fall to Pieces", Hank Cochran's "She's Got You", Willie Nelson's "Crazy", and ended in 1963 with Don Gibson's "Sweet Dreams".
Posthumously, millions of her records were sold over a 50-year span. As a result, she has been given numerous awards and accolades, leading some fans to view her as an icon similar to legends such as Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, in 1973, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1999, she was voted number 11 on VH1's special, The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll, by members and artists of the rock industry. In 2002, artists and members of the country music industry voted her as Number One on CMT's The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and ranked 46th in the "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" issue of Rolling Stone magazine. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.
Patsy Cline at Four Star Records in March 1957.
|Birth name||Virginia Patterson Hensley|
|Also known as||Ginny, Patsy|
|Born||September 8, 1932|
|Origin||Winchester, Virginia, U.S.|
|Died||March 5, 1963 (aged 30)|
|Genres||Nashville sound, country,traditional pop, rockabilly, honky tonk, standards, swing|
|Labels||Four Star Records (1955–1960)|
Decca Records (1960–1963)
|Associated acts||Kitty Wells, Jean Shepard,Jimmy Dean, Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Skeeter Davis, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Jan Howard,Dottie West|