Loretta Lynn offered a heart wrenching tribute to her mentor and friend Patsy Cline through what she knows best – a song titled “This Haunted House.” This was included as the 11th track in Loretta’s chart-topping second studio album, Before I’m Over You. It was simple and described the powerful and raw emotions of grieving.
Let’s take a quick look at how their friendship started.
As The Story Went
It was the spring of 1961. Unfortunately, Patsy Cline had just been in a car accident and suffered from severe injuries. And while she was in the hospital, Loretta Lynn sang Cline’s hit “I Fall to Pieces” on the radio show Midnight Jamboree as a dedication to the singer. After hearing her performance, Cline immediately had her husband arrange for Lynn to visit her in the hospital. And in a span of that conversation, the two singers clicked.
Both women were born in 1932 (though Lynn claimed that she was younger) and also worked with the same label, Decca Records, and the same producer, Owen Bradley. They also experienced hardships before they got to Nashville. Cline left school at 16 and pursued a music career, but she had no luck for years until her 1957 televised performance of “Walkin’ After Midnight.” And there was Lynn, a coal miner’s daughter with four kids of her own who arrived in Nashville with just a $17 guitar in hand.
Cline mentored Lynn and taught her all the things she needed to know not only in music but also in life. She empowered Lynn and, with her words, gave her the courage to speak up for herself. Though unfortunately, their friendship was short-lived.
In 1963, Patsy Cline died. On her way back home from a benefit concert in Kansas, the small plane she was in crashed in Camden, just 85 miles west of Nashville. No one survived. When Lynn heard of the news, she was utterly devastated. In a statement, Lynn said, “When I heard that morning that Patsy was gone, I said out loud, ‘What am I going to do?’ It was like a rug had been pulled out from under me. She was my friend, my mentor, my strength.”
A year later, Loretta Lynn released the song “This Haunted House.” It may have only been a short friendship, but for Lynn, it was a friendship that would last a lifetime. You can listen to the heart wrenching tribute song below.
Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline