Crazy – Small Town Girl, Country-Pop Super Star, Down-Home Friend. Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in 1932. She grew up to be an American country music icon. Since her death at age 30 in a 1963 plane crash at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful, revered and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century. When “Ginny” turned 16 she had to quit school to help support her family. She worked odd jobs and began singing professionally at night and on weekends to supplement the money her mother made as a seamstress. Over the next few years she won amateur contests, sang on local radio stations and performed with a number of bands. She married Gerald Cline in 1952 and began to sing with bandleader Bill Peer, who gave her the stage name, Patsy.
Patsy Cline had been performing for nearly a decade when she recorded her first album, which included the song, "Walkin' After Midnight.” With this song, she auditioned for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and was accepted to sing on the popular TV show on January 21, 1957. The audience went wild for her performance and Patsy won the competition. Arthur Godfrey and this breakout performance are credited with making Patsy Cline a star. She then released "Walkin' After Midnight" as a single and it became a hit, reaching #2 on the country charts and #12 on the pop charts, making Cline one of the first country singers to have a crossover pop hit.
Patsy and Gerald Cline divorced in 1957. She then married Charles Allen Dick and they had two children, a daughter and a son. The family moved to Nashville and Patsy joined the Grand Ole Opry as a regular cast member in January 1960. In January 1961, she recorded “I Fall to Pieces,” which topped the country chart and reached the 12th spot on the pop chart. In June, Patsy was critically injured in an automobile accident, but returned to the studio in August, and recorded “Crazy,” a song written by Willie Nelson, that rose to 2nd place on the country chart and 9th place on the pop chart. In December of that year, she recorded “She’s Got You,” which became her second number-one country hit.
Patsy won several outstanding female country singer awards during the next two years. Beginning in January 1962, she frequently appeared as the second-billed performer in a concert tour organized by Johnny Cash that also featured June Carter and George Jones. Her touring schedule included television performances on American Bandstand and the Tex Ritter Show, as well as concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and the Mint Casino in Las Vegas. By early 1963, she had recorded more than one hundred songs.
On March 5, 1963, while flying home to Nashville after a benefit concert in Kansas City, Missouri, in a plane piloted by her manager, Patsy Cline and performers Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in a crash near Camden, Tennessee. In the decades following her death, Patsy became a musical icon. In 1973, she was the first solo woman performer to be elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, and in 1981, she was inducted into the Virginia Folk Music Association’s Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame. Her recordings have sold millions of copies, and she has been the subject of numerous biographies, two musicals, a tribute album, and a feature film. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences recognized Patsy with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995 and Grammy Hall of Fame awards in 1992 and 2001 for “Crazy” and “I Fall to Pieces.” Her 12 Greatest Hits, which came out in 1967, is still the top-selling hits collection by a female country artist and has spent the most weeks on the Billboard charts of any album. At the turn of the 21st century, Patsy’s recording of “Crazy” remained the song most often played on jukeboxes. She has fan clubs around the world, a United States commemorative postage stamp, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Always, Patsy Cline is based on the true story of Patsy Cline's friendship with Houston housewife Louise Seger. Having first heard Cline on the "Arthur Godfrey Show" in 1957, Seger became an immediate and avid fan of Cline's and she constantly hounded the local disc jockey to play Cline's records on the radio. In 1961 when Cline went to Houston for a show, Seger and her buddies arrived about an hour-and-a-half early and, by coincidence, met Cline who was traveling alone. The two women struck up a friendship that was to culminate in Cline spending the night at Seger's house -a friendship that lasted until Cline's untimely death. – That's where our story begins.