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Patsy Cline: 10 Dramatic Quotes

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How many pioneering country artists can you think of who could inspire the respect and admiration of both Dolly Parton and Joey Ramone? It may well come down to just one, and that’s Patsy Cline.

To celebrate some of Patsy’s greatest music, here are ten dramatic and historic quotes both by and about this queen of country, who was taken at the tragically early age of just 30 in a plane crash in 1963. More than half a century later, her memory and her music are as powerful as ever.

“A lot of people say you’ve got all the loving in the world when you walk out on stage. But hell, that applause don’t help you any when you’re lying in that bed at night being totally ignored” — Patsy Cline

“Patsy Cline and Kitty Wells, they were really the first. They pioneered the way for me and Tammy and Loretta. People used to think that women should stay home, have babies and sing in church or around the house. Then a few brave women got brave enough to try something. They proved to everyone that they could hack it just like the men” — Dolly Parton, 1976

“You have to be able to hear somebody and know if they are good or not, regardless of whether they have a hit record or not, or a skinny butt or not, or an image consultant or not. Today, Patsy Cline could not get a record deal. She was too overweight, too homely, and too outspoken” — country artist/producer Gail Davies, ‘Waking Up In Nashville,’ Stephen Foehr, 2002  

cline-patsy-05-61-i-fall-to-pieces

“I wrote ‘I Fall To Pieces’ with Hank Cochran. It was his idea. It was a nice song, a good song, but I have to believe that Patsy Cline, her treatment of the song, made it better than I thought it was” — songwriter Harlan Howard

“Marty Robbins had to do encore after encore, including his big hit of the time, ‘El Paso.’ In fact, he had a difficult time trying to end his act. Then Patsy Cline received the same overwhelming ovation, being stopped time after time for requests for ‘I Fall To Pieces’ and several of her other hit songs. Eventually the stage hands started to remove the instruments from the stage — the only way they could bring the proceedings to a close” — live review by Alan Smith of the New Musical Express of the Grand Ole Opry show at Carnegie Hall, New York, December 1962

“Patsy Cline was one of the first people I was ever turned onto in country music. She was such an amazing voice, but so much more than that, she made me feel everything she was singing, which the truly great singers do” — LeAnn Rimes, Classic Rock Presents Country magazine, 2013

“I suppose I could have sat back and pitied myself. For a time I wondered if I’d ever be able to go on to a stage and perform again. After a couple of weeks I began to feel I could fight my way back to health if I put my mind to it. I thought to myself: ‘Pity never did anybody any good. Go on. Patsy, show ’em what you can do’” — Patsy Cline to the NME in 1962, after her serious car accident of the previous year

“I thought Patsy Cline was the most marvelous singer. I remember seeing her in Greensboro. She had been in that bad wreck so she was wearing a wig. You could see the scars up here on her forehead. This was in December, before she was killed in that plane crash in March. When that woman would sing it would send chills all over ya” — country songwriter and journalist Hazel Smith, ‘Waking Up In Nashville,’ Stephen Foehr, 2002

“Patsy confided in June [Carter, later June Carter Cash] her belief that she would die young and even wrote out some instructions she wished to be carried out after her death. In all too short a time, June had to visit Patsy’s family to pass on this information” — Stephen Miller, ‘Johnny Cash: The Life of an American Idol,’ on Patsy’s early touring with Johnny Cash

“The way I see it, there’s a lot of great things and there should…there’s no room for barriers. You know what I mean? There’s no reason why you can’t like Led Zeppelin, the Ramones, and Patsy Cline at the same time, and Motorhead, and uh, you know what I mean? I mean, if it’s great, it’s great” — Joey Ramone, Crusher magazine, 1989

52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Curt Johnson

    July 29, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I first became aware of Patsy Cline in the late 1980s or perhaps the early 1990s, when I went to a friend’s house and he was playing a Patsy Cline CD. It blew me away. Then I saw two made-for-TV movies on her life and fell in love with her. I, of course, bought the CD with her best hits.

    I”ve also got recordings of LeAnn Rimes singing many of Patsy’s hits. Miss Rimes certainly does an excellent job, paying good tribute to the originator.

  2. Brenda

    October 1, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Hubby and I both adore patsy cline

  3. Harp

    October 2, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I liked her in the 50’s. Best at that time!

  4. Tillie

    November 23, 2014 at 11:51 am

    i grew up with Patsy Cline’s music. She was one of my dad’s favourites, along with Johnny Cash and Charlie Pride. I love her voice, and to this day I can’t hear her singing without being transported back to childhood.

  5. Eric Pozo

    November 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Great lady and singer there are lovely songs that she sang with Jim Reeves

    • John

      June 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

      She never sang with Jin Reeves, The songs you refer to were compiled on a mixing desk’

    • John

      June 24, 2015 at 12:07 pm

      She never sang with Jim Reeves, the records that were released as duets were done on a mixing desk.

  6. Shirley miller

    November 23, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    loved her in the 50’s and still do today. Have recordings of all of her songs.

  7. Cheryl Timms

    November 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    Love Patsy and all of her music. Taken far too early but she left a great legacy for us all to listen to.

  8. Shannon McCollam

    January 18, 2015 at 11:12 am

    In response to Gail Davies giving Patsy Cline a backhanded comment based on her looks and not getting a record deal because she was overweight and homely?? Some of the greatest singers in history are not what most people would consider attractive or beautiful, But to quote Minnie Pearl “She was not fat or overweight she was a thick girl and was sexy in her own right with her choice of clothing and the Opry girls mocked her sense of style and some of these videos unearthed did her no justice.” With that said we see throughout the years Kate Smith, Barbara Streisand, Bette Midler and even Adele by some would most definitely consider her average and overweight..Patsy would have been out place in this day and age where musicians in the studio were her comfort zone and audience asking for feedback and approval..Now it’s about auto tune and lip syncing with background dancers with pyrotechnics…I think of all the great men and women singers in time that would not be accepted if we went by a journalist who appears to admire a consummate outspoken brilliant singer only to call her homely?? I checked out your Facebook page Gail Davies and you certainly are no Grace Kelly and since I’ve never heard of you it’s because your to skinny and only true talent is your songwriting…Best Wishes for you in your career..How about giving Patsy credit for what her music has achieved and less time insulting…I can just imagine some color metaphors She would have chosen for your more elegant and honorable article..

    • Bob Robinson

      March 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I think, if you’d ‘re-read her statement, you’d find she wasn’t slamming Patsy. She was making a point about the modern music scene and the expectations that rule who and what an artist is now.

      • Shannon McCollam

        June 4, 2015 at 12:10 am

        @BobRobinson, by today’s standards male and female country singers have lost their flare and sense of real country music with Disc Jockeys claiming they are losing listeners by playing more female artists than Blake Shelton and all the other guys who are either clones or choose to sing through their noses, the fact is country music is not the same and never will we have the likes of Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, now we have songs about red solo cups and she thinks my tractor is sexy…I can’t think of any country artists now that will be remembered with adoration in 10-20 years because we focus on the appeal of the person rather than the talent, Taylor Swift can no longer call herself country and lost fans crossing to the pop side which can be beneficial, I can’t say anything positive about Swift other than she can play a guitar and writes her own music….Celine Dion and Susan Boyle are no beauty queens and yet their talent is stellar with the likes of Adele and more people judge looks over the music produced..Kelly Clarkson being fat shamed for not losing the pregnancy
        Baby weight instead of the caliber of her taken….Jennifer Nettles, Zach Brown Band, Lady Antebellum are just a few who have actual talent and the material that will be looked back in music history as brilliant…Country disc jockeys are also being told to cut out long guitar solos as other means to draw in listeners…I stopped listening to country in the late 90’s and I still admire Reba Mcentyre and others who try to stay in the game and do what they love. Where is Patty Loveless and The Judds?? Patsy may not have signed a deal in today’s music business but her music and talent still blows other artist out of the water on country and pop side… Country Music has losts it’s way because of generic singers with auto tune and lack luster songs that are mundane and recycled…Pure and simple..

        • pamela

          August 31, 2016 at 7:28 am

          I am a singer si g most on singsnap and private parties b on singsnap I love it I get more views than many gigs but my point is there seems to be a need by many I find to keep classic country alive since nashville has sold themselves down the river and has abandoned anything tat is even remotely country sounding some of the singers on this site sound far better than anything out there today though not up on the big stage it’s great being in a place where you can hear and sing your cheating heart delta dawn faded love etc

    • Chuck Landsdown

      March 2, 2015 at 7:23 pm

      While I understand your point, you are also being a little hard on Ms. Davies and her comment. I have said for years, in particular in the world of country music that ushered in during the 90’s to now, that Davies is more than likely correct, a major label probably would turn down Patsy down this day in times. Why? Because Patsy wasn’t fake. Yes, Patsy was thick, but most importantly, she was a REAL WOMAN for the time period and, aside from the emotional connection that people felt, that realness as well was brought Patsy into the light. I don’t consider it insult at all what Davies said, as much as what it truly a factor now days. Artist like Adele are an extreme rarity to get the limelight that they have simply because of many people’s biased towards celebrities that aren’t model quality. Patsy was truly original and remains to be. And as far as being a beauty, she was, both in and out and she touched a lot of people. So many stars of the current time could only hope to have a quarter of the longevity.

    • Barry

      July 3, 2015 at 3:40 am

      Well said Shannon, 100% correct. Looks are in the eyes of the beholder.

    • fred

      October 27, 2015 at 6:04 am

      Shannon Mcollam’
      I read your full reply to Gail and i loved every second of it I love Patsy music and even tho i am only 48 it’s the old stuff i grew up on i love and from the time i was a kid hearing Patsy sing was amazing .

  9. mm

    March 1, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Patsy’s “You Made Me Love You” is mesmerizing

  10. cheryl

    March 1, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    My mother was a singer also although never famous she grew up in DC and knew Patsy, Roy Clark &Jimmy Dean. She always said Patsy was so nice but when the boys started giving her grief about just being a girl singer she would have the bottle brought out, at the end she was always the last one standing! She was an original nothing faked.

    • Gazelle

      June 3, 2015 at 3:27 am

      Patsy was one of a kind and she came up through the ranks, which most”artist” now a days know nothing about. Patsy was not only a country singer but also crossed over to rock and was a huge success.She opened doors for more people than anyone will ever know and unless you walked a mile in her shoes, you have no idea what she went through to where she made it. Patsy was a legend before her life was cut short and she is still a legend and there is not one female, much less male singer who are even fit to shine her shoes!!!

  11. Laurie

    March 1, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Patsy Cline is a true legend! I l fell in love with her the first time I heard her!

  12. peter cook

    March 2, 2015 at 12:49 am

    What a tragic life but her singing will live forever.Pete

  13. Gloria Ralske

    March 2, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Patsy Cline is one of my all time favorites, along with Amy Winehouse,, Brandi Carlile, Streisand, Sinatra, Sarah Vaughn, Lady Day.

  14. colleen

    March 2, 2015 at 3:41 am

    I was about 10 yrs old when I first heard Patsy sing , I have every song she ever sang,,I am a 73 + SENIOR and still love to hear her songs ! Remember ,whats old is always new again ! R. I. P. Patsy !

  15. Chuck Landsdown

    March 2, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Patsy Cline is a star into her own right. She wasn’t country. She wasn’t pop. She wasn’t Rockibilly.

    Patsy is still one of the best voices ever in any field of the business. Her ability to make a person ‘feel’ a song is what made her who she was. Barbara Mandrell, who worked with Patsy as a child, has often said, when asked how she could sing songs about cheating and lost love with so much dedication and warmth, and it was because “for those two or three minutes, I am living that song.” Patsy is the epitome of that statement. Her life and her love was not easy. I do believe that the greatest form of therapy in dealing with such things, just like many of us as listeners and lovers of artists with her craft, was found in music.

    There might be many people with great voices and ranges…but there is only one Patsy Cline.

  16. aleta

    March 3, 2015 at 2:02 am

    pasty cline was and is the Best singer hands down. She was not even to be put in any catagory of todays artist. she will be around always n. forever in our memory and Hearts.

    • Gazelle

      June 3, 2015 at 4:06 am

      totally agree!!!

  17. Frank (Ted) Bicking) '60

    March 16, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I love Patsy Cline and my brother lives in Winchester, VA. Have been to the PC Museum. Her voice and delivery were unique. My mother who didn’t like music all that much, would stop whatever she was doing to listen to Patsy sing “Crazy” or most other of her songs. She was a good friend to a lot of people and many just thought of her as one of the family. That is so rare as to be unique. Thanks for keeping her memory and her music alive!

  18. Melanie Hofilena

    March 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Patsy Cline is a great singer.. Her song “Crazy” is so beautiful and my favorite. After watching her movie, I feel so sad about her short life and her tragic death. RIP, Patsy Cline.

  19. lu

    April 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    I have my own band but have sang alllll my life, my dad loved Patsy in the late 50 & early 60’s learned on her music I sing all of her songs when I am performing with my band (maybe 2 or 3 a set) but I am HUMBLED when people compliment me and tell me I sound more like Patsy than Patsy. …she was and is the epitome !!!!! of singers let alone female. much love to you Patsy

  20. Diane Bailey Dyson

    June 2, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I actually met and sang on a show with Patsy when I was 5 years old. I am currently and have been for many years a Patsy Cline Tribute Artist. Patsy was in a class all her own. No catagory for her!!! She had and still has a voice that is timeless and NO body ever sang a song with so much feeling as Patsy. I have always said, if you are able to deliver a song with true, deep emotions, you have to have lived it at some point in your life. i have never heard anyone sing songs with so much feeling as Patsy. As an example, this song comes to mind. “Faded Love:. If you listen very carefully, at the very end, she has what they call”the signature sigh”. You actually hear her take a breathy sigh before she says “LOVE” at the very end of the song. Long live Patsy Cline’s music and memory.

  21. BARB SHEAN

    June 2, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I LOVE PASTY I LISTEN TO HER ALL THE TIME. I OFTEN WONDER WHAT SHE WOULD THINK OF COUNTRY TODAY.

  22. Sarah

    June 2, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Nobody back in the day or now in the present can come anywhere near Patsy she deserves the title of legend when I hear the opening bars of CRAZY I just melt wish we could have had more time with you Patsy xxxxx

  23. Terry

    June 3, 2015 at 9:20 am

    There have been a lot of female performers over the years. In Rockabilly/country, Patsy definitely heads the list, with Dolly Parton a credible 2nd (in my opinion).But greatest of all time? She was very emotive, she was very forthright, she was outspoken and captivating. Fast forward 5-6 years and you have the same definition, and following of one of great female blues singers of all time, Janis Joplin. Each genre has its defining star. Celebrate all of them. But I must say it was the music of Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins that got me hooked on country – and I’m Australian.

  24. Lowell

    June 3, 2015 at 9:41 am

    In the 40’s while living in Washington DC we would watch the Jimmy Dean Country Western show each Saturday night. They announced that tonight NBC is broadcasting the show nation wide. Jimmy’s guest was a chunky, pretty, 12 year old girl from Winchester, VA and oh my could she sing. Her voice was distinct and original. A short time later she won the Arthur Godfrey talent show and the rest is history. That young girl became Patsy Cline. What a loss to lose her so early. I am now 85 and still listen to all of her CD’s. .

  25. Tom Smith

    June 24, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    My Daughter Laura Dee began singing because she heard Patsy and wanted to sing er songs.
    She made a whole C D devoted to Patsy, it’s called ” A Bottle of Wine and Patsy Cline”.

  26. Ken McLaughlin

    June 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I was only 9 or 10 years old when I heard Patsy for the first time at my Aunt & Uncles. They were big country music fans and Patsy was there favorite. Fell in love with her voice at a very young age and still listen to her music, what a voice! I will always remember my Aunt & Uncle weeping when they heard the news of her death. Uncle was a truck driver, that’s when I learned that real men do cry. Miss them all

  27. Donna Knerr

    June 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I grew up listening to Patsy and all the other’s. Barbra Mandrell said best ( I Was Country When , When Country Wasn’t Cool.)

  28. Kyle

    June 24, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    I simply adore Patsy. I play her every night while I sleep and every day when I drive. Something about her hauntingly beautiful voice brings me so much happiness

  29. Sharon

    June 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    I was born a year after Patsy died,I was a teenager into punk rock in the early 80,s then I heard Dolly,which I loved,then heard Patsy Cline for the first time singing Crazy & it just went straight to my heart,it makes you feel every word she’s singing about,as most of her songs do,you ache for her pain & your own at the same time with her love songs,not many singers can make that happen! I was still a punk but played my Patsy music when no one was about,ha,my punk music eventually went away but my Patsy Cline still gets played to this day,

  30. Alan

    June 25, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I first heard Patsy when I was about 5 or 6 , I played a record I had found in my mothers belongings (mum & dad had recently separated) and listening to her at this time in my life cemented her hauntingly beautiful voice in my mind (or should I say ear) forever, the phrasing of lyrics, inflection and her unique way of holding a note or letting go of one….I was dumbstruck then by Patsy and remain so today. RIP my beautiful friend…..

    Alan Bartlett
    Australia

  31. Barry

    July 3, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I grew up listening to my sister singing all of Patsy Cline’s songs, her renditions were very good. Of course being a young lad at the time I would stir her up. Pasty was the greatest easy too listen to singer I have ever heard, Her category is her own, not country,ballad or rockabilly.

  32. Melanie Hofilena

    July 18, 2015 at 3:35 am

    Patsy Cline ‘s song ” Crazy ” drove me crazy. I was requested by a bridegroom, my friend, to sing it on his wedding day in Waikiki, Hawaii. My friend Kelly Mochizuki loved that song Crazy ” I always sing it in my karaoke or wherever karaoke places I go. RIP, Patsy. .

  33. barry roach

    September 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    the only thing that matters is patsy is and was the very best lady country singer of all time she looked after the girl singers while on the road to me she was beautiful

  34. Ben

    September 5, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    I was a farm kid back in the 70’s driving through canyons in one of our trucks checking on hunting cabins. We were so far from any radio stations there was only one spot I could get a signal. It was oddly 200 feet below a grazing pasture behind a cabin where a trail narrowed to nothing. I could pull the truck to a certain point and pick up a country station. I found they’d play a mixed version of Jim Reeves and Patsy Cline “Am I Losing You?” just before sunset, like clockwork. I hit the spot every day and tried to harmonize.

    Thank God only our dogs were along for the ride because it made them howl. But how I loved Patsy’s rendition. I got my driver’s license not long after that and discovered 8-track tapes of pure Patsy Cline and bought a different one every time I got paid for hauling hay. They stayed with me through most of the 80’s, that is until I was forced to switch to cassette, and then later forced to re-invest a fortune to get CD’s. Now it’s downloading the whole library.

    From her last show, I got a poster marking the March 1963 event; hours before she died in the plane crash. On the billing, it listed George Jones, he and his bassist had posed for a photo with her after that night’s show. George took off on his bus; sadly Patsy didn’t hitch a ride. For me, George became not only my favorite living country artists but a living link back to the last living moments of Patsy. I began following his career; up and downs, career highs and lows, life’s ups and downs, Tammy and always wondered why all the women he married had a name that ended in Y.

    Later I had moved on from those days of working on farms and was living in cities. Having a free hanging lifestyle and every time George came to where I was living, I never could afford a ticket to his shows. Finally in 2002, I was settled down and a homeowner. I had found myself done with those rambling days.

    In the Fall of 2001 I got word Jones was coming to perform at the State Fair of Arizona. I found prime seating tickets and paid more for those babies than I would have made hauling in a truckload of hay during the days of my youth. What is better I had been enrolled by a friend into Jones fan club and got to go backstage and meet George and his wife, Nancy.

    I saw stars. Getting to shake the hand that once hugged Patsy. I almost broke out singing “Back In Baby’s Arms” but Waylon Jennings wife Jessi Colter showed up dressed to the “9’s”. Every bit of country history that consumed my soul and mind left me speechless. It gave me a rush that I will never experience again.

    I will shut up now on my Patsy Cline and those sweet dreams I have of her. But I have a favorite quote (and I use it quite often.) She used it during a performance on a television show (of which I can’t remember the name.) When she stepped to the microphone and the applause, she said, “This ain’t New York City, but it’s uptown!”

  35. Nelson

    September 6, 2015 at 12:40 am

    As far as her looks Patsy was actually a good looking lady . By today’s standards sex appeal sells and talent does not seem to be as big a requirement. Whatever you believe you should understand that Patsy and women artists of her time opened the door for many who have followed and the standards they set for their quality of performance is still the best and could never be outdone.

  36. Harvey

    November 29, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Thick Patsy Cline and skinney Hank Williams SR. will not be erased.

  37. Marty

    February 18, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    All I have to say is I have her beautiful voice. I started singing karaoke in 1998. I sang “Hopelessly devoted to you” by Olivia Newton John. Somebody in the audience told me I sounded like Patsy Cline and requested I sing “Crazy”. I obliged. Halfway through the song I had to stop because I thought it was the actual CD of Patsy Cline. I’ve got lots of gigs because of my voice. And I’m a man.

  38. eli d zdunich

    February 19, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    WHAT A VOICE,TALENT, AND STAR.IN MY OPINION SHE WILL NEVER BE REPLACED,AND BE AROUND LONG AFTER I AM GONE.

  39. Bjarne Emil Krüger

    July 13, 2016 at 7:10 am

    I love the Music. I grove up with this music.

  40. Larry Smith

    September 21, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    In the movie “Sweet Dreams” supposedly, Patsy’s future husband Charlie Dick says to her: “Just listen to a Kitty Wells record, you’ll go home and slit your goddamn throat” Of course after listening to Patsy, then, or now, everyone wants to slit their goddamn throats.

  41. Mark

    November 5, 2016 at 5:47 am

    I though she was very sexy, especially after she put her hair up in the bee hive style , and I like a gal that’s thick ! The thing about Patsy was after about 50 years I all the sudden remember the day she died, I was about six, I remember waking up and the sun was shinning and it was a windy boisterous day because there was a srrom the previous night. My dad left the radio on as he always did when he left for work . WAAX I’m Gadsden Alabama was broad casting and all I knew was something bad had happened.I had suppressed this memory for all those years funny how it came back to me .

  42. Mark

    November 5, 2016 at 5:50 am

    I though she was very sexy, especially after she put her hair up in the bee hive style , and I like a gal that’s thick ! The thing about Patsy was after about 50 years I all the sudden remember the day she died, I was about six, I remember waking up and the sun was shinning and it was a windy boisterous day because there was a storm the previous night. My dad left the radio on as he always did when he left for work . WAAX I’m Gadsden Alabama was broad casting and all I knew was something bad had happened.I had suppressed this memory for all those years funny how it came back to me .

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