MC47 - Patsy Cline - COUNTRY
The DIVA series
Curated by Executive Director Susan Scott
Patsy Cline (1932-63) “One of the most expressive voices in modern country music.”

I could cite lots of reasons for choosing Patsy Cline as our Country Diva; among them:

  • Rags to riches story
  • 1st woman in the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • One of the first Country singers to cross over into Pop
  • Portrayed twice in movies, including by Jessica Lange in “Sweet Dreams”
  • Childhood home is now a museum
  • 1961: Not expected to survive a car crash in which two die; six weeks later she’s playing the Grand Ole Opry and about to record “Crazy.”
  • 1963: She dies in a plane crash at age 30 (adds to the mythology)

Mainly I chose Patsy Cline because I love her singular, instantly recognizable voice.  Critics and music historians talk about “her instrument:” the “dramatic volume controls and stretched-note effects, or how she “refined her voice into an instrument of torch-singing glory.” To listen to her is to understand why she’s ranked among the best female voices of the 20th century. 

As to our MC song selection, she didn’t like “Crazy” initially; did not want to do it. Record Company thought otherwise.  Cline made it her own and her interpretation of this Willie Nelson song would be her biggest hit.  Music historian Paul Kingsbury wrote: "Cline's hit recording swings with such velvety finesse, and her voice throbs and aches so exquisitely, that the entire production sounds absolutely effortless.” Paste Magazine called the recording "iconic.”
That works for me! I hope it does for you, too
Bonus Divus: Willie Nelson 
I hadn’t planned on a male diva and if I had Willie Nelson might not have been first choice though I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. He did write the song she made so famous and he loved her version of it. His minute-long “Crazy” is from a longer medley performed at the Grand Ole Opry in 1965, just two years after Patsy Cline’s death. 

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