Patsy Cline songs have truly stood the test of time and are still loved by millions. She may have left us far too soon, but she managed to release some of the most incredible music. Indeed, the legendary singer was determined at carving out a music career for herself and didn’t let anything stand in her way.
Here are our favorite songs by Patsy Cline within the eight short yet remarkable years of her career.
10. “He Called Me Baby”
From: That’s How Heartache Begins (1964)
Written by Harlan Howard, Patsy Cline took it and made the song all her own, with a sensual take that stood as perhaps her sexiest performance. The singer expressed her sense of longing for a former relationship that set her recording of the song apart.
9. “Faded Love”
From: A Portrait of Patsy Cline (1964)
Patsy Cline’s death was still all over the news when Decca released her version of this Bob Wills classic. It’s great how this Patsy Cline song speaks for itself, reaching No. 7 on the country charts.
8. “You’re Stronger Than Me”
From: So Wrong / You’re Stronger Than Me EP (1962)
There were two versions of “You’re Stronger Than Me” recorded by Cline; one version was slower while the other was much faster, which appeared on her life’s final EP. The song was among Cline’s final recordings.
7. “Leavin’ on Your Mind”
From: The Patsy Cline Story (1963)
This list will never be complete without “Leavin’ on Your Mind.” The song was supposed to be included in her next album, after scoring back-to-back country and pop success – however, the album never happened following her death. It was released posthumously and reached No. 8 on the country charts.
From: Always (1980)
The tune’s unique backstory traced back to Irving Berlin, penned by a famous composer in 1925 as a wedding gift for his wife. Decades later, in 1963, during some of Cline’s last recording sessions, she laid down the hit and was posthumously released in her 1980 album of the same name.
“Always” was also the inspiration for the name of her fan club, “‘Always…Patsy Cline.”
5. “She’s Got You”
From: Sentimentally Yours (1962)
“She’s Got You” captivated Patsy Cline from the first time she heard it, and the lyrics deeply moved her. In the biography Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline, author Ellis Nassour wrote that Cline started learning the song that same night she got her hand on it. Shen called her manager and producer to sing it to them on the phone and recorded it at her next session.
Written by Hank Cochran, the song tells the tale of a brokenhearted woman who looked through all the mementos that remind her of her lost love. While she has all the pictures and things that remind her of their relationship, the one thing she doesn’t have is the man she loves.
It went on becoming her next No. 1 hit and climbed into the Top 20 on the Billboard Top 100, peaking at No. 14.
4. “Walkin’ After Midnight”
From: Patsy Cline (1957)
Written by Alan Block and Donn Hecht, Patsy Cline was not fond of “Walkin’ After Midnight” initially. Still, she recorded it after making a compromise with her label. The compromise was that Cline would record it as long as she could also record a song she favored, which is the “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold).”
However, in January 1957, when Cline performed the song on one episode of the CBS television program Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts – a talent competition composed of rising young, unknown professionals – her performance garnered a strong response from viewers.
In fact, the excessive amount of audience applause led to a technical difficulty as it froze the show’s applause meter. Thanks to that great amount of applause, Patsy Cline won first place in the show that night. The song was then rush-released as a single a month later.
“Walkin’ After Midnight” was Patsy Cline’s first major hit, peaking at No.2 on the Billboard Country Music chart while No. 12 on Billboard’s Pop Music chart. Even though the song was her only hit until 1961, the single version sold more than one million copies and is often included on lists of all-time greatest country music songs.
3. “I Fall to Pieces”
From: Patsy Cline Showcase (1961)
Just ten days before Cline’s untimely passing, she performed her hit song “I Fall To Pieces” on the Glenn Reeves Show. No one would know it would be her final televised performance of the song. It was Cline’s first No. 1 hit on the Country charts and her second hit single to cross over onto the pop charts.
Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard wrote the poignant song while the song’s demonstration version was recorded by Howard’s wife, country singer Jan Howard. They knew they had a hit on their hands; all they needed was someone to sing it. They started pitching the song to Decca producer Owen Bradley, who tried to offer it to the biggest names at the time.
However, the song was turned down several times, first by Brenda Lee, who found the song “too Country” for her pop style, then rising Country star Roy Drusky who turned it down, thinking it was not a man’s song.
Patsy Cline, who was in the hallway, overheard Drusky’s argument with Bradley and asked if she could record it, instead. However, once Cline was ready to record it, she started having second thoughts. She did not like the idea of having a group of background singers as her supporting vocalists. Cline thought they would only drown out her sound.
Still, the song went on, becoming one of her most recognizable hits. It also started a solid partnership between Cline and Cochran, who wrote a string of songs for her throughout her career.
From: Patsy Cline Showcase (1961)
In all country songs, only a few are considered timeless as Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” It’s quite hard to believe that the song was not a No. 1 hit for Cline. Needless to say, it is one of her greatest hits, peaking at No. 2 on U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles. It remains a country music staple today and is one of the most frequently covered songs by other artists.
Written by Willie Nelson, the song also placed Nelson on the map as both a singer and songwriter.
1. “Sweet Dreams”
From: The Patsy Cline Story (1963).
“Sweet Dreams” was written and originally recorded by Don Gibson in 1955. Following the tune’s success, Cline took her hand at the song and recorded her version in 1963 for her to-be-released album, Faded Love. Unfortunately, in a tragic turn of events, Cline died in a plane crash before she had a chance to release the album; thus, it was never released.
Five weeks after her death, Cline’s record label Decca released “Sweet Dreams.” The song is still popular today and is often covered by other country music artists.
The song title was also used in a Patsy Cline biopic released 1985, starring Jessica Lange.
[…] she only recorded for 8 years. Your favorite Patsy Cline song may not have been featured yet in our The Best of Patsy Cline: Her Timeline of Classic Country Music Part I […]