Patsy Cline was one of the first female musicians to break into the country music scene. Her second single, “I Fall to Pieces,” made it to the Top 20 and was one of the first songs for a female artist to be certified gold. Her songs are included on the Greatest Hits album and are some of the best-selling country records of all time.
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia, and she began singing at an early age. She was aware of her musical talent even before she was in grade school. Cline would sing with her mother at the local baptist church. Her family gave her a piano for her eighth birthday, and Patsy began learning how to play the instrument. By the time she was fourteen, she was performing on local radio. She auditioned for a job at the local radio station, and her performance was deemed outstanding. When she was fifteen, her parents split up, and her father deserted the family.
Cline’s professional career began with appearances on a local radio station, WINC. She also appeared in a local band led by Bill Peer; this led to featured performances on Connie B, Gay’s Town and Country radio shows, and a contract with the Four Star Records label. She achieved minor success with her first singles and began a career as a national star.
During this time, Cline divorced her husband Gerald and married Charles Dick, with whom she had two children. The two later divorced. Patsy eventually joined the Grand Ole Opry and began recording songs. Her first single, “I Fall to Pieces,” reached the top of the country charts and the 12th spot on the pop charts.
Cline suffered a car crash in June 1961, which left her hospitalized for a month. After recovering from her accident, Cline returned to Grand Ole Opry, and recorded her single “Crazy” written by country legend Willie Nelson. The single was a hit and topped the charts at number 2. “Crazy” and “She’s Got You” were her biggest pop hits of all time.
The plane crash that claimed Patsy Cline’s life was a tragic accident. She was traveling on a private plane with two other country stars when she died. The plane was en route to Nashville from a benefit concert in Kansas City. After the show, Cline and her traveling companions boarded the Piper PA-24 Comanche and headed for Nashville. The two other country stars aboard were Hawkshaw Hawkins and Randy Hughes. During the flight the pilot became disoriented, and the plane stalled as it flew through the clouds. It crashed into the woods near Camden, Tennessee.
Cline was a pioneer in country music, leading the way for women in the genre. She was the first female artist to be featured in the country music hall of fame. Patsy is also the first country music female artist to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. Despite her massive success, she was known for her humble personality. Patsy’s music sold millions of records even after her death.