Virginia Patterson Hensley, popularly known as Patsy Cline, was born on September 8, 1932 in Winchester, Virginia, U.S. She became one of the all-time greats of the genre by bridging the gap between more mainstream audiences and country music with her ability and vast appeal.
You may think that you know her well, but there are a lot of striking facts behind Cline’s career and personal life. Intrigued? Here are 8 Interesting Facts about Country Music Legend Patsy Cline.
1. She was self-taught
Because she was so passionate about singing, she taught herself how to play the piano at just 8 years old. After making occasional appearances on local radio stations to achieve some notoriety, Cline signed contracts with well-known record companies. She subsequently attracted fans of country and mainstream music through stage appearances, radio, and television.
2. She Gives Credit to a Throat Infection for her Singing Ability
At the age of 13, Cline was hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic illness. She said that following the incident in 1957, she went through a terrible throat sickness and even had a heart collapse. The doctor placed her in an oxygen tent.
When she eventually recovered, her voice resembled Kate Smith’s because the disease had affected her throat. She started to become enthusiastic about performing songs from this time. Together with her mother, she started singing in the community Baptist chorus.
3. She is from a Broken Family
When Patsy was 15 years old, her parents allegedly separated due to her father’s heavy drinking. Her father, Sam Hensley, was an accomplished blacksmith, a talented singer, and a pianist. The Great Depression caused him to lose the family’s land. Sam has a reputation for having a volatile temper. After his return from WWI, he began to drink frequently.
4. She is a School Drop out
When her father wasn’t there to help with the expenses, Patsy assisted her mother by singing in neighborhood clubs in the evenings. She also worked during the day at the local drugstore, which led to her dropping out of high school a year later.
5. She is a Victim of Sexual Abuse
Cline spoke tragically of a relative who approached her regularly while being careful to hide details. When Cline’s mother informed producer Bernard Schwartz in 1985 that she was being abused while he was filming Cline’s biopic Sweet Dreams, the incest would come to light after Cline’s passing. Cline revealed to Loretta Lynn that the abuser was her father, warning her to “take this to your grave.”
6. She had a Near Death Experience
On June 14, 1961, Cline and her brother Sam Hensley, Jr. were both hurt in an automobile accident. On the day of the disaster, Cline and her brother went shopping to get materials so her mother could sew garments. Another driver struck their car from the front as they were driving home. The collision threw her through the car’s glass, causing serious facial injuries. In addition, Cline suffered a fractured wrist and a large cut across her forehead, which almost missed her eyes.
7. Post-humous Success
Decca Records, eventually owned by MCA, re-released Cline’s music after her death, propelling her to posthumous popularity. Sweet Dreams (Of You) and Faded Love, two songs that topped the charts, were included on the CD.
Decca released a compilation called Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits in 1967. The album debuted at number 17 on the Billboard country chart and earned a diamond sales certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2005 edition of the Guinness World Book of Records, Greatest Hits was credited as the longest album by a female artist. Cline’s music continued to dominate the charts even during the 1980s.
8. First to Earn Recognition
It only made natural that Patsy Cline would be the first female solo artist to receive one of country music’s top distinctions because she paved the way for female performers in the field. Cline was the first female solo artist to be elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973, 10 years after her passing.
After her death, Cline was described as one of the most well-known, respected, and important performers of the 20th century. Even today, Patsy Cline Songs have an influence on artists from all genres and styles.
With her love for music, it is an irrefutable fact that Patsy Cline deserves the recognition she was given.