I once lip-synched the Patsy Cline song I Fall to Pieces at a convention, so I have literary license to write about Ms. Cline. Of course I remember Jessica Lange playing Patsy in the 1985 film Sweet Dreams, but other than knowing that Cline died in a plane crash, I really didn’t know much about this 60’s icon of country music. So I picked up Mark Bego’s I Fall to Pieces: The Music and the Life of Patsy Cline.
Many talented and ambitious people had hardscrabble beginnings and/or abuse growing up, and Patsy was no exception. Now when I listen to her music, I have a whole new appreciation for the angst that can be heard in her singing of songs, my personal favorite being Turn the Cards Slowly.
Patsy Cline knew she would be a star, and at a young age she went about making it happen by singing everywhere and every chance she got, just for the experience: church, fairgrounds, restaurants, nightclubs. At age 15, “Ginny,” as she was known then, quit school to go to work to help support the family. Her first paying job: slaughtering chickens.
But Ginny found the time to nag her mother to take her around to Winchester, West Virginia’s small radio station and show off her singing skills to the likes of Joltin’ Jim McCoy–and eventually on to Nashville to try to get an audience with Wally Fowler, a big star of Southern Gospel with a regular radio show.
When I hear a song by Patsy, with its steel guitar intro, it brings me back to the days of country two-stepping and smoky barrooms of my youth–fond memories, indeed. Forgive me, young people–but they sure don’t make music like this anymore. Click here to take a look at some of the items we have at DCPL.