Patsy Cline

patsyclineVirginia Patterson Hensley was born on September 8, 1932. With dreams of stardom at an early age she admired stars such as Judy Garland and Shirley Temple and credited Kay Starr and Hank Williams for influencing her career.

Appearing on the nationally televised “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” program in 1957 Patsy Cline sang a pop tune, “Walkin’ After Midnight,” and won. The song became an instant hit with both country and pop music fans. She continued with the country hit, “A Poor Man’s Roses”

In 1961 Patsy’s “I Fall to Pieces” and a song written by Willie Nelson, “Crazy” along with “She’s Got You” established her as a major star on Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry.

Ironically, with her “Leavin’ On Your Mind,” in the country music top ten and Patsy Cline just 30 years of age, she would die in a private plane crash on March 5, 1963.  More hits followed her death, “Sweet Dreams of You,” “Faded Love,” “Always” and “Have you Ever Been Lonely, Have You Ever Been Blue,” with country star Jim Reeves in 1981.

During her short career of only five and a half years, Patsy Cline was awarded 12 prestigious awards for her achievements in music and three more following her death. She was laid to rest in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia where a bell tower, erected in her memory, plays hymns daily at 6:00 p.m., the hour of her death. Her mother had her grave marked with a simple bronze plaque, which reads: “Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love.” A memorial marks the place where the plane crashed outside of Camden, Tennessee.

While Patsy Cline’s life may have ended, her fan following certainly didn’t as her life and career have acquired almost iconic status, so that she has become a bigger star since her passing than she was during her life.

Patsy Cline was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 and in the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2012.

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