Author: Douglas Gomery


Patsy Cline (1932–1963)

Patsy Cline was a singer whose biggest hits—”Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” and “Crazy”—embody the so-called Nashville Sound, a synthesis of country and popular music. Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Cline began singing professionally to help support her family. She rose to national fame in 1957 after winning a talent competition on a television variety show by singing “Walkin’ After Midnight.” She joined the Grand Ole Opry as a regular cast member in January 1960, and in January 1962 began appearing as the second-billed performer in a concert tour organized by Johnny Cash. Cline died at age thirty in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee, in 1963, and became a musical icon in the decades following her death. In 1973 she became the first solo woman performer to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee.