The rise of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 1950s and 1960s had almost killed country music. Country sales began to fall since a large portion of the youth market shifted away from this music type. But, thanks to country music executives who were quick enough in responding to this commercial decay. Reconfiguring the genre as an adult counterpart of the rock ‘n’ roll music became an effective solution to regain country music competitiveness. A smoothened approach to the honky-tonk style gave birth to what we all know today as the Nashville Sound. Hence, everything that sounds smooth has replaced what was not. Orchestras replaced fiddles; backing choruses replaced the pedal-steel guitar. And, the artists sung in crooner vocal styles. Since the emergence of the Nashville Sound, many country singers during this era had been significantly associated with the music genre. Among these artists were Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline. It’s just so unfortunate that they’d gone too soon. But despite their short stints, their respective legacies helped magnify the progress of the Nashville Sound.
“Gentleman Jim” and His Nashville Sound Legacy
Jim Reeves was the first country music artist with whom the term “Nashville Sound” was associated. Literature proved he’s been instrumental in the creation of this new country music style. In fact, his 1957 song called “Four Walls” was proclaimed as the “first Nashville Sound record.” Recorded in a mellow style, the song went straight to No. 1 on the country chart and became a major hit on the pop chart. His later single “He’ll Have to Go” was likewise cited as a Nashville Sound example. With a span of three decades, from the 1950s to 1980s, Reeves’ releases remained as regular chart visitors. This made him much known as a practitioner of the Nashville Sound.
“The Cline” and Her Nashville Sound Legacy
Just like Reeves, Patsy Cline’s music displayed versatility on various charts. Many songs of hers became big crossovers implying her great musical influence on different types of audience. But prior to this, her music formed an essential part of the Nashville Sound style. Possessing a rich tone of voice filled with emotions helped propel her singing career. Her short recording stint began to shine in the late ’50s. Among her first major hits were “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy.” Both songs were included in the Nashville Sound playlist.
Reeves and Cline, both Grand Ole Opry members, had duet performances released long after their death. Producer Owen Bradley was instrumental in the electronic creation of these duet records. Their rare duet of “I Fall to Pieces” and “Have You Ever Been Lonely” were both released in 1981 and hit No. 5 on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 1982.
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