Top Ten Songs of Patsy Cline

On March 3, 1963, Patsy Cline gave her last concert in Kansas City. Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins boarded a private plane with Randy Hughes, Cline’s manager. On March 5, 1963 the plane met with severe weather and crashed in Camden, Tennessee. There were no survivors. Patsy Cline, the singer with perfect pitch, who could play a piano by ear, and had just bought her dream home in Nashville, was dead at thirty years old.

Forty-three years later, Patsy Cline remains one of the “100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll.”
“Crazy” written by Willie Nelson, “Sweet Dreams,” ” I Fall to Pieces,” named number seventeen on the Jukebox Hits of All Time “She’s Got You”, and “Walkin’ after Midnight,” Patsy’s first hit, are still musical masterpieces to her many fans around the globe. The recording of “Crazy” has been named #1 Jukebox Hit of All Time. “Back in Baby’s Arms,” “Faded Love,” “So Wrong,” “Loving’ on Your Mind,” “and “Strange,” along with the previous five songs listed are on the album, “Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits”. This album was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for staying on the charts the longest of any female artist of any musical genre.

Carl Perkins, the legendary singer and songwriter, when talking of Patsy, said, “She set trends that will be followed for as long as there is good music”. If they’re going to do it right, they have to do it the Patsy Cline way, because she couldn’t be beat!”
There you have the top ten songs of Patsy Cline. But, with Cline, there are really no top ten, because every song that Cline sang was a top ten song. On a fall weekend in 1963, not too long after Patsy Cline had died, my parents had invested in a record player and had bought a record album titled, “Sentimentally Yours, Patsy Cline-featuring “Heartaches”. There she was, Patsy Cline, on the cover, wearing a blue and white sequined dress, her hands folded nicely upon three white pillows. On that weekend, three little girls, learned every song on that album, sang them so many times that an aunt who had visited that weekend, wrote much later that she, too, would know the songs forever. Today, forty-three years later, those girls are women, and they still know every word of the songs on that album. This writer is one of those little girls and that album sits here, still, with me. And Patsy still sings, “Heartaches!” That is what Patsy Cline songs were made of. If you were exposed to Patsy Cline at any time in your life she would become a part of the tapestry of your life. My children, my grandchildren have all heard me sing Patsy Cline songs. Many of my friends have too. When I found YouTube.com I searched for Patsy Cline and came up with sixty-one videos. Of course, I immediately began to send them to friends and relatives. Once, I met a man and began dating him. When he told me he played Cline’s “Crazy” each night before he went to sleep, I found myself falling in love. This might all sound a little “Crazy’ to a person never exposed to Cline-but if you have been you know the way her songs make you feel-how her voice reaches into the deepest parts of you. Most of all, she becomes a part of different times and places in your life.
Reba McEntire, when asked about Patsy Cline, said, “Patsy Cline? Larger than life! She taught me emotion: raw, sincere and unashamed. I sure wish I could have known her.”

I am certain that many singers and songwriters voice the same sentiments. Those of us who were lucky enough to hear the voice and learn the lyrics of her songs wish she had lived longer. But, even so, without her here -we still know what heaven sounds like.

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