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Biography

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Overview (5)

Date of Birth 8 September 1932Winchester, Virginia, USA
Date of Death 5 March 1963Camden, Tennessee, USA  (plane crash)
Birth NameVirginia Patterson Hensley
Nickname Ginny
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia. Her brush with show business came at age four when she won a prize in an amateur tap dancing contest. By the time she entered grade school, her family was fully aware of her musical talent. On her eighth birthday, her mother presented her with a piano, on which Patsy learned more music patterns. On Sundays, she sang with the local church choir, and at age 14, was singing regularly on local radio station WINC (she got the job by walking fearlessly into the station and asking for an audition). When Patsy was 15, her parents divorced, reportedly due to her father's heavy drinking. Without her father around to pay the bills, Patsy helped her mother earn money by singing in local clubs in the evenings, and by day, was working at the local drug store, which led to her dropping out of high school a year later. In 1948, Patsy maneuvered herself backstage when 'Wally Fowler' brought his music show to her hometown. Patsy impressed Fowler with her singing, and he gave her the opportunity to audition to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. However, to her disappointment, the Opry reps said that she would not be ready for big-time country radio.

Patsy returned to Winchester and continued to sing in local clubs. She met and married Gerald Cline in 1952. That same year, she was featured in Bill Peer's Melody Playboys of Brunswick, Maryland. Peer got Patsy her first recording contract with Four Star Records in 1954. In late 1955, Patsy became a regular on the radio show "Town and Country Jamboree", a country-western program that broadcast in Washington, D.C. In 1957, Patsy finally got her big break when she appeared as a contestant on the television variety show Talent Scouts (1948), hosted by Arthur Godfrey. For her first television appearance, she selected a torch song she sang a year earlier, "Walkin' After Midnight". She won first place and became a regular on the show for the next two weeks. "Walkin' After Midnight" was released as a single and put Patsy on the top ten charts of country and pop music. However, her determined drive and ambition put a large strain her marriage and kept her away from her husband; as a result, Patsy and Gerald divorced soon after her television debut. In the late 1950s, Patsy put a hold on her career and married a second time, to Charlie Dick, and together they had two children. However, when she returned to singing, the long hours that kept her away put another strain on the marriage.

In 1960, Patsy was finally invited to join the Grand Old Opry and the following year she scored with her second single, "I Fall to Pieces". Producer Owen Bradley took advantage of Patsy's rich voice and backed her with lush string arrangements rather than the twangy sound of steel guitar, which was typical for country-western singers at the time. Anxious to be true to her roots, Patsy often expressed a desire to yodel and growl on her records, but she understood that this smoother sound was giving her career a major boost and used it during the next two years of album recordings. In March 1963, Patsy traveled from Nashville to Kansas City, where on March 5, 1963, she appeared at a benefit concert for the family of disc jockey Jack McCall, who had been killed in a traffic accident earlier that year. Immediately after her performance, she boarded a small plane back to Nashville along with country-western performers Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and pilot Randy Hughes. Approximatelly 85 miles west of Nashville, the plane ran into turbulence and crashed. There were no survivors. Shorly before her death, Patsy recorded the single "Sweet Dreams", which became #5 on the country charts after her untimely death at age 30 (her best-known song, "Crazy", was written by future country-western legend Willie Nelson). Ten years after her death, Patsy Cline was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the first female soloist chosen for the honor.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matthew Patay

Spouse (2)

Charles "Charlie" Dick (15 September 1957 - 5 March 1963) (her death) (2 children)
Gerald Cline (7 March 1953 - 28 March 1957) (divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Ruby lipstick
Rich bold contralto voice

Trivia (20)

She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry on January 9, 1960
Had two children: Julia Simadore Dick (b. August 25, 1958) and Allen Randolph "Randy" Dick (b. February 28, 1961).
Nearly killed on June 14, 1961 when she and 21-year-old brother Sam Hensley were involved in a head-on car crash in Madison, Tennessee. Patsy was thrown through the car's windshield. Recovery from the accident took a month and Patsy's forehead was permanently scarred.
Patsy's winning appearance on Talent Scouts (1948) in 1957 froze the applause meter used to judge contestants.
Pictured on one of four 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, featuring Country & Western music. This set of stamps also honored Hank Williams, Bob Wills and The Carter Family. Issued 25 September 1993 in sheet and booklet formats.
Recorded 102 songs during her six-year career.
Wore many wigs after her car crash which left many scars on her forehead.
Many plays have been written based on her life. Most famous are "Always, Patsy Cline" and "Just a Closer Walk with Patsy Cline".
Ranked #11 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
Recorded many of her most famous hits from the 1950s with legendary session guitar player Hank Garland. Garland also played with her during her famous appearance on Talent Scouts (1948) in 1957. They were both considered part of the famous Nashville musicians known as the A-team.
Ranked #1 of the 40 greatest women in country music.
Recorded with Hank Garland in the late 1950s to early 1960s in sessions that produced the songs "I'm Moving Along", "I'm Blue Again", "Love, Love, Love Me Honey Do", "That Wonderful Someone", "(Write Me) In Care of the Blues", "Hungry for Love, I Can't Forget You", "I Don't Wanta", "Ain't No Wheels on This Ship", "Yes, I Understand", "Gotta Lot of Rhythm In My Soul", "Life's Railway to Heaven", "Just a Closer Walk with Thee", "Lovesick Blues", "How Can I Face Tomorrow", "There He Goes" and "Crazy Dreams".
Recorded Willie Nelson's song "Crazy". According to Nelson, it was one of the few songs Patsy did not get on the first take. After a break, he realized the problem was that she was attempting to sing it the way he had originally recorded it. After he told her to "make it her own", she got it the first time. According to Nelson in an interview with Terry Gross, it is on more jukeboxes and remains the #1 song on jukeboxes ever.
Was close personal friends with Loretta Lynn and was portrayed by Beverly D'Angelo in the story of Lynn's life, Coal Miner's Daughter (1980). D'Angelo did all her own singing for the role.
Patsy's manager and pilot, Randy Hughes, was taught to fly by the same flight instructor who taught another popular country singing star, Jim Reeves, to fly. Jim met the same fate as Patsy, Randy, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas in July 1964, when his plane crashed in eerily similar circumstances during a severe thunderstorm.
Performed at a Country Music show at Carnegie Hall in 1961 (a novel concept at the time). Among the other stars that appeared with Patsy were Chet Atkins, Minnie Pearl and Jim Reeves.
Actor J.D. Walters was asked to attendee dinner in honor of Patsy Cline in Winchester, Virginia in 1996.
She was posthumously awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6160 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on August 3, 1999.
Posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973 (10 years after her untimely death).

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