Country legend Loretta Lynn recently celebrated her 88th birthday last April 14, but not only that, she has also released a new video for “I Fall to Pieces.” Created by director Aaron Ray, the video celebrates Lynn’s friendship with the late country superstar Patsy Cline. The video features custom illustrations and animations of the two country music icon.
“I wanted to share this song and video in honor of Patsy. She was my friend, mentor, my strength, and I miss her to this day,” Lynn said.
The track and video are also in celebration of Lynn’s new book Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust, co-written with her daughter, Patsy Lynn Russell. It has been released last April 7 through Grand Central Publishing. The book is an up-close-and-personal portrait of a friendship that changed country music indelibly as well as a meditation on love, loss, and legacy.
You will see quotes from the books on the “I Fall to Pieces” video. For instance, a quote reads at the start of the video: “Patsy and me together made one good woman.” It ends with another sweet sentiment: “I still miss her to this day.”
“I Fall to Pieces” was Cline’s first No. 1 hit in 1961. Lynn’s new version, which was recorded at the Cash Cabin Studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, was produced by Patsy Lynn Russell together with Johnny Cash’s son John Carter Cash. The two also produced Lynn’s Grammy-nominated album, Full Circle, including her last studio album, Wouldn’t It Be Great, which earned a Grammy nomination for the title track.
“I miss Patsy every day. When I was writing my book about our friendship, it was really hard just remembering the two of us. I did a lot of crying and missed what we had together,” Lynn said. “When I recorded “I Fall to Pieces,” and after watching the video and seeing photos of us, it made me smile. We were the best of girlfriends, and I think people watching will feel that.”
Friendship Built From Love of Music
“I Fall to Pieces” was also the song that helped begin Lynn and Cline’s friendship. When Cline was hospitalized following a car accident in the spring of 1961 and was really in bad shape in the Madison Hospital, Lynn performed the song in her honor during a live broadcast from Ernest Tubb Record Shop’s Midnite Jamboree.
“What a hell of a song to sing to someone who’s been torn all to pieces, you know?” a laughing Lynn reflects. But her performance got Cline’s attention and prompted her to ask Lynn to come to meet her for the first time at the hospital. “She sent her husband to get me to come meet her,” Lynn recalls, “and that’s how our friendship started.”
“I couldn’t believe Patsy wanted to meet me. You know, from that first meeting, we just clicked and became friends. I couldn’t think of another song I wanted to sing for our fans, it was the beginning for us,” Lynn said in another interview.
Though Cline was the bigger star during that time, it turned out they had a lot in common. They did not have much schooling, they were in the same label and worked with the same producer. But of the two, Lynn was by far the more naive. So the more experienced Cline became Lynn’s source of support while she was learning the ropes of a country career. Cline would invite Lynn to go on the road with her and gave her pointers on how to style her hair, use makeup, wear heels, and even shave her legs.
Whenever Lynn couldn’t afford rent, groceries, or even drapes for her home, Cline would always step in. She also had a habit of giving Lynn clothes. Every time Lynn visits Cline’s house, the late country singer would “be cookin’ for me, and when everything was over, and she would start diggin’ in her clothes, finding little old stuff for me to wear, sweaters and stuff. And she’d load me down before the night was over.”
According to Lynn, Cline had also stood up for her when other women in the industry were shunning her. In her 1976 memoir, Lynn revealed that some of her fellow singers were envious that she had received several invitations to perform at the Opry. The moment Cline learned that these women were getting together to try to stop Lynn’s Opry appearances, she joined the meeting with Lynn in tow. The Coal Miner’s Daughter wrote in her memoir, “Patsy put the stamp of approval on me, and I never had any problems with them again.”
“When I came to Nashville, I think I came in still feeling like a young girl. I don’t want to say stupid but naive way of looking at some things. Patsy was one of the first to ask me what I wanted. She wanted to hear what I had to say about things,” Lynn said. “I’ve said Patsy and I together made one great woman.”