Women in Country: Country Music Pioneer Patsy Cline
March is Women's History Month, so in celebration, each week this we'll take a look at some of the many women who broke barriers in the industry and helped pave the way for female artists today. This week, we take a look at the first female inducted as a solo artist into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Patsy Cline.
She had a voice like no other, it was deep and powerful and it made her famous. She was the first female country artist to cross over to the pop charts with her 1957 hit 'Walkin' After Midnight'
According to Wikipedia, she's the only artist to have been invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry after asking them if she could join. She was working in an industry that was, and for the most part still is, a boys' club, but she could hang with the best of them and earned their respect. When Patsy started performing, women artists weren't headliners, she helped change that with hits like 'I Fall to Pieces', "Crazy', 'Sweet Dreams', and 'She's Got You'.
She only released three albums in her short career, but has sold millions of records since her death in an airplane accident in 1963, at the age of 30. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973, in 1993, the US Postal Service honored her with her own stamp. In the same year, on the 30th anniversary of her death, the Grand Ole Opry presented a special Patsy Cline exhibit, with many personal items on display. Her recording of 'Crazy', written by Willie Nelson, was named the number one jukebox hit of all time in 1997. Patsy was ranked at 46 as one of the '100 Greatest Singers of all Time' by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2002.
She even had a film made of her life. Released in 1985 and starring Jessica Lange as Patsy and Ed Harris as her second husband Charlie Dick, the film highlighted not only her musical career but her tempestuous marriage as well.
She is a Country icon and one of the pioneers who helped pave the way for women in country music today. Thank you Patsy for sharing your talents with us for the short time we had you here.