Patsy Cline, with her distinctive contralto voice and deep, resonant tone, was one of the most popular and influential singers of the twentieth century. Cline was an early trailblazer in the country music scene and paved the way for female artists.
Patsy Cline Early Life
Virginia Patterson Hensley, better known as Patsy Cline, was born on September 8, 1932, in Winchester. Hilda Patterson gave birth to Patsy, her only child with husband Samuel Hensley when she was just 16 years old.
Since their mother passed away, Samuel also had two older children who were raised by foster parents. Cline’s parents regularly relocated the family so that Samuel, a blacksmith, could find work near his new location. Cline’s younger siblings, Samuel Jr., and Sylvia Mae, also traveled frequently.
Later in life, Patsy revealed that her father (who had abandoned the family in the late ’40s) had sexually abused her; when she told her close friend Loretta Lynn, Lynn told her to “take this to your grave.” Cline was diagnosed with rheumatic fever and throat infection at the age of 13 and was hospitalized; she later reflected on the experience, saying, “I developed a terrible throat infection and my heart even stopped beating.
The doctor put me in an oxygen tent.” Also, Cline trained himself to play the piano. When she was just a teen, she became a radio star on WINC in Winchester and a cabaret sensation in the city’s nightclubs. Patsy went to John Handley High School, but she didn’t graduate before she had to start working to help support her family. She worked as a soda jerk and clerk at Gaunt’s Drug Store.
Patsy Cline Personal Life
On March 7th, 1953, Patsy married Gerald Edward Cline, and four years later, they were officially divorced. They had Julie on August 25, 1958, and Randy on February 28, 1961, after she had married Charlie Dick on September 15, 1957. Patsy and Charlie stayed together until she died in 1963, even though their marriage was “driven by booze, fighting, passion, jealousy, success, tears, and laughter.”
Cline and her brother Sam Jr. were killed in a head-on collision in Nashville in June 1961. Patsy had a broken wrist, a dislocated hip, and significant facial injuries after being slammed through the windshield.
When Cline arrived at the hospital, the doctors weren’t sure she would make it because two of the occupants in the automobile that hit Patsy and Sam Jr. had already passed away. Surgery and a month in the hospital ensued for Patsy.
Cline made her first public appearance six weeks after the accident, at the Grand Ole Opry, where she told the crowd, “In my opinion, the support I received from you all was the best present anyone could give me. You came through with flying colors at the very moment I needed you the most. Please know that you have no idea how pleased you have made this old rural girl.”
Patsy’s custom cowboy boots, featuring elaborate metallic and leather inlay complete with her name in rhinestones. The boots are attributed to western tailor Nudie Cohn. Take a walk in Patsy’s shoes and discover her life and legacy at the Patsy Cline Museum, open 9AM – 7PM daily. pic.twitter.com/EznAx1eyjC
— Patsy Cline Museum (@ClineMuseum) February 8, 2021
Patsy Cline Net Worth
Inflation-adjusted, the net worth of American country music singer Patsy Cline was $10 million when she passed away in 1963.
Patsy Cline Success
Cline first approached the Grand Ole Opry for an audition when she was 15 years old. The Opry responded by requesting CDs and photos. As soon as Patsy and her family could, they moved to Nashville, where she tried out for the Opry artist Moon Mullican. Cline and her family returned to Virginia after a successful audition that went unnoticed by the Opry.
It was in 1952 that she first sang with Bill Peer’s Melody Boys and Girls when she auditioned for the band and won the chance to sing with local country bandleader Bill Peer. Later on, after getting married, Peer advised that she take on a stage name, and so the newlywed vocalist opted for “Patsy” (derived from her middle name, Patterson), to complement her new last name, Cline.
She entered a country music contest in her hometown in 1953 and won, taking home $100 and a regular spot on the radio show “Connie B. Gay’s Town and Country Time.” A demo tape featuring Patsy was circulated by Peer in 1954, and by September of that year, she had signed a two-year contract with Four Star Records (which allowed the record label to keep most of the royalties from her music sales).
In 1955, Decca Records issued Cline’s debut single, “A Church, a Courtroom, Then Goodbye,” which had been recorded during her first session and leased to the company.
She won an episode of “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” in January 1957 after performing “Walkin’ After Midnight.” A few weeks later, Decca Records released the song as a single, and it quickly rose to #2 on the “Billboard” Hot Country Songs list and #12 on the “Billboard” Hot 100.
Patsy Cline Death
In Kansas City, Kansas, at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on March 3, 1963, Patsy and several other country music stars performed at a fundraiser for the family of radio personality “Cactus” Jack Call.
Dottie West offered to drive Cline the 16 hours back to Nashville after the next day’s flight was canceled because of fog at Fairfax Airport, but Cline politely declined, saying, “I’m not going to travel back to Nashville with you.” “I’m fine, Hoss; you needn’t worry.
It will be my time to depart when it is my time to go.” On March 5th, Cline, her manager Randy Hughes, and their friends Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins flew home on a Piper PA-24 Comanche.
After stopping for fuel in Rogers, Arkansas, the jet continued to Dyersburg, Tennessee, where it arrived at 5 p.m. Due to the bad weather and severe winds, the airport manager at Dyersburg Municipal Airport offered the group free lodgings, but Hughes declined, saying, “We’ll be OK.” “I’m not going back now that I’ve started. Getting there won’t take long at all.”
After taking off at 6:07 p.m., the jet went down in a woodland close to Camden, Tennessee. Upon inspection, it was determined that Cline’s watch had frozen at 6:20 p.m.
The plane crashed, taking the lives of everyone on board, and some of the things that were recovered were given to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. Patsy’s funeral was attended by thousands, and she was buried in a gilded casket at Virginia’s Shenandoah Memorial Park in Winchester. Her grave is marked with a bronze plaque that reads, “Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love.
Patsy Cline Awards and Honors
Patsy Cline was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 after her death.
Both of her Grammy Award-winning singles, “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces,” were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, and the United States Postal Service honored Cline with a stamp in their “Legends” series that same year. After being renovated by a group named Celebrating Patsy Cline Inc.
her childhood house opened to the public in 2011. In 2017, the Patsy Cline Museum debuted on the upper level of the same Nashville structure that housed the Johnny Cash Museum. If you enjoyed this post and want to read more like it, please check out TheActiveNews.Com.