Released on August 7, 1962, Patsy Cline’s third album, Sentimentally Yours, was the last to be issued during her lifetime. Running for only 30 minutes, it may feel slight by today’s standards, but it was (and remains) a nearly perfect collection of pure country magic… and with some great pop thrown in for good measure.
Patsy began recording Sentimentally Yours in August 1961, and finished it up in February of the following year. “She’s Got You” was the opening track on the album and became the first single as well. It went to the top of the Billboard Country charts for five weeks, her second No.1 after “I Fall To Pieces.” Interestingly, “She’s Got You” also made the Pop chart (reaching No.14) and became Patsy’s first hit single in the UK.
“She’s Got You” is one of only two new songs on the album, the others are all covers, including two from Hank Williams,, among them a lovely version of “Your Cheatin Heart.” Patsy gives a great reading of Jo Stafford’s “You Belong to Me” and Rosemary Clooney’s “Half As Much.” “Any Time” dates from 1924 and was originally released by Emmett Miller, a singer who had a huge influence on Hank Williams, Bob Wills, and Merle Haggard.
The standout track, though, is “Lonely Street,” a beautiful ballad that is deserving of much wider recognition. Produced by Owen Bradley at his studio in Nashville, Sentimentally Yours features the cream of the city’s session players including Floyd Cramer on organ; Buddy Harman, the Grand Ole Opry’s first drummer; and the Jordanaires with backing vocals.
The second single from the album was “Heartaches,” a song that dated from 1931 and had been a hit for Ted Weems and his Orchestra and, later, for Harry James and his band. (In 1961 the Marcels covered it as well.) The move to standards, rather than out-and-out Country records was a conscious decision to appeal to a broader market. So it’s no surprise that Patsy’s version did not make the country charts, but instead reached No.73 on the American Hot 100, it also got to No.31 in the UK. (It was Patsy’s last hit single in Britain during her lifetime.)
There have been dozens of Patsy Cline compilations issued over the years, but it is so rewarding to go back and listen to original albums as they were conceived. Listen straight through, and you’ll hear an album with a carefully conceived running order and some incredible songs.