Like a bell...
March 5, 2013 5:04 AM   Subscribe

On this day in 1963, in a tragic plane crash, America lost one of its finest singers: Patsy Cline. While many are familiar with her acclaimed rendition of the Willie Nelson-penned Crazy, let's pay a visit to some lesser-known but nonetheless masterfully impressive vocal performances from that sublime, transcendent voice, shall we? Here's two live TV spots: Patsy in full cowgirl regalia with a delightful performance of the Hank Williams classic Lovesick Blues and the snazzy Walking After Midnight, one of the tunes that reminds us that Patsy could've just as easily been marketed as a pop/jazzy chanteuse as the *country* artist she was presented to the world as. And here's the gorgeously smooth studio renditions of She's Got You and I Fall To Pieces, and...

There's quite a lot of Patsy on YouTube (although some favorite old live TV spots of mine seem to have been pulled, unfortunately), so I'll just link here to 99-song playlist. Happy listening! And thanks for the great music, Patsy. So sorry you couldn't have been with us longer.
posted by flapjax at midnite (44 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
.
posted by brevator at 5:05 AM on March 5, 2013


.

She's Got You is my favorite.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:13 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Every time my dad hears the opening phrase of "I Fall to Pieces", he murmurs, "Sing it out, Patsy!"

Not too many singers can seize their audience's attention right from the first few words of a song like that.
posted by orange swan at 5:16 AM on March 5, 2013


Such a lovely, sultry, intoxicating voice. While I sincerely wish there was a voice like hers in pop music today, I fear it would simply be compressed and autotuned into a tinny icepick to the ear.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:24 AM on March 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jim Reeves was another with crossover appeal. Here's their duet of Have You Ever Been Lonely with a little bonus Willie at the end...
posted by jim in austin at 5:33 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't remember exactly what led me to buy a Patsy Cline Greatest Hits CD years ago, since I knew almost nothing about her music, but it quickly became a favorite. "Back In Baby's Arms" is one that I often find running in my head as a earworm.
posted by briank at 5:34 AM on March 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Growing up my dad played a lot of Patsy Cline, and every time he did it it upset me. I think I was probably twenty before I could listen to her without getting actually uncomfortable. Now, I actually like her a lot now, I think it was mostly that when I was a kid she was making feel emotions that I just wasn't ready for.

That said, I'm going to go listen to "She's Got You"
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:37 AM on March 5, 2013


There's a PATSY CLINE Memorial at the site of the crash. (Also mentioning Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, and pilot Randy Hughes who died along with her.)
posted by three blind mice at 5:42 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]




I would love to hear Adele cover one of Patsy's songs. When I hear her song "Rumor" it reminds me a lot of Patsy.
posted by stormpooper at 6:01 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that NYT link, xowie: good article.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:10 AM on March 5, 2013


Over a dozen years ago, when mrgood and I visited the old Country Music Hall of Fame (before the swanky re-do) nothing made me sadder than this exhibit: The clock from the plane crash, stopped at the moment of impact.

. (Patsy Cline)

. (Hawkshaw Hawkins)

. (Cowboy Copas)

. (Randy Hughes)


And the catch in her voice on "Faded Love" still brings me to tears.
posted by peagood at 6:15 AM on March 5, 2013


Not usually a fan of the twang, but the sole allowance I make for country music is Patsy Cline. Because Patsy understands.
posted by heyho at 6:18 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Though I recognize Pasty's classics, I remain partial to 'Tra-la-la-la, triangle, my life is such a tangle'.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:18 AM on March 5, 2013


My other favourite, playing now to cheer me up a little (even though it's another of her heartbreak songs - and I don't doubt for a minute that she got him back to stay with this one): Don't Ever Leave Me Again
posted by peagood at 6:22 AM on March 5, 2013


Did anyone in the United States between the ages of, oh, I guess 40 and 90, not own this CD at some time in their life? She's just a part of our musical DNA.
posted by marxchivist at 6:27 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I heard the story somewhere that Patsy had a very small range (but in that range, gawd was she powerful!). Her band would have to play in different keys from demos just to keep her in range.

So when they wanted to fuck with her, they'd play a song a step up or a step down. Her response was usually, "I must have smoked too much yesterday; can't hit the notes!"
posted by notsnot at 6:30 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Why Can't He Be You?" is one of the most raw, honest, heartbreaking songs ever. Patsy's version in particular.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:33 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Did anyone in the United States between the ages of, oh, I guess 40 and 90, not own this CD at some time in their life? She's just a part of our musical DNA.

Expand your age range!

At times after listening to Patsy, I just get angry that such a wonderful voice was taken from the world so early. I can't help but break out in Walking After Midnight whenever a full moon is up and I'm traveling.
posted by Atreides at 6:45 AM on March 5, 2013


If we're talking lesser-known Cline songs, I'm personally quite fond of "Never No More."
posted by Rangeboy at 7:08 AM on March 5, 2013


....and now I'm going to have Lovesick Blues stuck in my head all day.
posted by The Whelk at 7:20 AM on March 5, 2013


I didn't grow up with her but discovered her as an adult, after seeing a musical play based on her life. We keep a CD of her tunes in the family car at all times. And now I have She's Got You stuck in my head...


.
posted by Doleful Creature at 7:28 AM on March 5, 2013


Long before the great Patsy, this guy sang Lovesick Blues and was a major influence on many better known country singers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=otNICva63mQ
posted by Postroad at 7:43 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


.

There was a big surge of interest in Patsy Cline in the queer women's (and men's, to a less extent) community in the late 1980's, right after the movie Desert Hearts came out - it used several Patsy Cline songs to good effect in the soundtrack. I think that's when the queer country dancing group "Gays for Patsy" started up, but I'm not sure.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:56 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just gonna go home, lie down, and listen to country music. The music of pain.
posted by adipocere at 7:57 AM on March 5, 2013


Is it just me, or has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes (relative to, say, pro atheletes)? Aside from Patsy Cline, there's Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, as well as Stan Rogers. I know three incidents is small, but it somehow seems like a statistical anomaly.
posted by MrGuilt at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2013


Did anyone in the United States between the ages of, oh, I guess 40 and 90, not own this CD at some time in their life?

Still have it.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:25 AM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Snazzy isn't the word I would use to describe Walking After Midnight. It is a full psychotic breakdown confined to a time signature. There is almost no Patsy Cline song I can't imagine being mouthed by a drag queen on stage in a bloody dress with a knife. And for that I will always love her.
posted by munchingzombie at 8:54 AM on March 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes (relative to, say, pro atheletes)?

Don't forget Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Aaliyah. (Of course, Rhoads' death was due mostly to a stupid stunt that the pilot was attempting.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:04 AM on March 5, 2013


Ripples in the stream of post-adolescent dreamtime:

I was 18 years old, but barely, in the summer of 1964. I was in the Army on the island of Okinawa. My girlfriend--she spoke GI pidgin well enough, and was so, so...well, so well-attuned to the necessary things is all I have to say about that part. She loved to sing Patsy Cline songs, and her voice matched Patsy's range and resonance in a very eerie way, and anyhow, she sang in English without any accent, a thing I never understood, but I did understand her version of the song:

She's got your picture, (she sang) But I've got your stereo....

Well, I guess you hadda been there.
posted by mule98J at 9:12 AM on March 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


.
posted by kuppajava at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2013


I, who mostly listen to goth/industrial and similar type, have Patsy Cline in my rotation. What a voice!!! I'm fairly sure I'm tone deaf, but take the opportunities while alone in my apartment to belt it out with her. I'm not country but I was raised by it. Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash were the only ones I kept with me.

It's seemed incongruous to my friends that I include her, but I've managed to prove to them that pretty much any PC song could be redone in gothy styles and would be club hits. She sings about complicated lives, we like that. Everyone re-fell in love with Johnny Cash years after teasing me for including him alongside Bauhaus... I'm waiting for it to happen for Patsy.
posted by _paegan_ at 9:29 AM on March 5, 2013


This thread is, quietly, one of the reasons I love MeFi... I know very little about Ms. Cline, though of course I've heard her, and thanks to a bunch of you, I feel a bit more educated today than I did yesterday.
posted by Malor at 9:52 AM on March 5, 2013


has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes (relative to, say, pro atheletes)?

Don't forget Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Aaliyah. (Of course, Rhoads' death was due mostly to a stupid stunt that the pilot was attempting.)


I forgot to add John Denver and three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Hmmmmm...
posted by MrGuilt at 10:04 AM on March 5, 2013


There's Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper, as well as Stan Rogers.

Don't forget Randy Rhoads, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Aaliyah.


I forgot to add John Denver and three members of Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Also Otis Redding, Rick Nelson, Jim Croce, and Jim Reeves.
posted by Rangeboy at 10:14 AM on March 5, 2013


Is it just me, or has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes (relative to, say, pro atheletes)?

Musicians travel more than the average Joe in general and seem to have been more likely to use small, chartered planes w/pilots of varying skill sets in risky situations specifically.
posted by mazola at 10:21 AM on March 5, 2013


I can't think of a single modern pop song that's been a more pernicious earworm for me than Walkin' After Midnight as performed by Patsy Cline. I've had it stuck in my head on and off for years. That modulation at the end is a thing of beauty.
posted by Lorin at 11:46 AM on March 5, 2013


Is it just me, or has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes (relative to, say, pro atheletes)?

Small charter planes are scary.
posted by fshgrl at 11:55 AM on March 5, 2013




Is it just me, or has a disproportionate number of musicians died in plane crashes...

Legend has it that one of The Buchanan Brothers died in an automobile accident on the way to Patsy Cline's funeral...
posted by ovvl at 4:11 PM on March 5, 2013


Years ago, I heard an interview with Willy Nelson where he claimed that the original name of "Crazy" was "Stupid". It makes me laugh every time I hear it.
posted by kamikazegopher at 5:00 PM on March 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


the original name of "Crazy" was "Stupid".

McCartney's famous "yesterday..." started out as "scrambled eggs...".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:51 PM on March 5, 2013


MrGuilt: "I forgot to add John Denver"

He was flying an experimental, home-built plane and apparently got sick from adhesive fumes. Thus, he was Heaving in a Kit Plane....
posted by notsnot at 6:59 PM on March 6, 2013


he was Heaving in a Kit Plane....

ba-dum PSSHHH
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:08 PM on March 6, 2013


« Older Don't call it the Harlem Shake   |   Building a Better Land/Water/Mud Artmobile Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments