Virginia Patterson Hensley, or Patsy Cline, was born on September 8, 1932, in Virginia, the United States. Considered one of the most significant figures in the field of country music in the 20th century, she became a household name in the American music industry. She started as a country music singer before crossing over to pop music territory. Her two singles, ‘I Fall to Pieces’ and ‘Crazy,’ reached the number-one spot on the Billboard Hot Country chart throughout her music career. For her contribution to the music industry, Cline was included in the Country Music Hall of Fame. She died in a plane crash in 1963 in Tennessee, U.S.
Virginia Patterson Hensley
September 8, 1932
March 5, 1963 (age 30)
Country singer Patsy Cline has been dubbed as one of the biggest names in the American music industry during the 20th century. She was born Virginia Patterson Henley on September 8, 1932, in Virginia, the United States, to Samuel Lawrence Henley, a blacksmith, and Hilda Virginia, a homemaker. She had two half-siblings from her father’s previous marriage. Cline started singing after recovering from a throat infection and gave her first few performances in the local church choir.
She made her first public appearance in 1946, at 14, when she passed the auditions for a local radio station. Her father abandoned the family in 1947 and Cline became closer to her mother, with whom she shared a beautiful bond. While working for her radio performances, she started appearing in talent contests and cabaret acts. However, it was not until 1955 that she started gaining critical acclaim by performing regularly on Connie B. Gay’s T.V. program. In the same year, she started recording with the label, Four Star. Radio and variety shows on T.V. earned her a broader audience. In 1957, she released the song ‘Walkin’ After Midnight,’ which marked her breakthrough. In the late 1960s, she signed with Decca Records and released the song ‘I Fall to Pieces.’ Although the success was slow, it eventually reached number one on the charts. This marked her beginning to sing more pop. In 1961, she released ‘Crazy,’ which became one of her biggest hits.
Cline married twice; her first marriage was to a construction tycoon, Gerard Cline, in 1953. However, they divorced in 1957. She then married a linotype operator, Charlie Dick, in the same year, and they had two children, Julie and Randy. Their marriage ended in 1970, although Dick remained involved in keeping Cline’s legacy alive after her sudden and abrupt demise in the year 1963, in a plane crash.
Cline's first singing performance is on a local radio station, which earns her more singing projects.
After winning a singing competition, Cline appears on Connie B. Gay’s T.V. program regularly, earning attention for her performances.
Her song ‘Walkin’ After Midnight’ becomes a massive hit.
She signs with Decca Records and releases her second hit single, ‘I Fall to Pieces.’
Cline’s success leads her to perform in Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the Grand Ole Opry Show.
Why We Love Patsy Cline
She was hard-working
Even though she had had a rough childhood, Cline did not give up and pushed through. She worked hard to help support her mother and even harder to create a name for singing. She well deserved the massive success she received.
She was confident
During her earlier days of performing, she went inside and asked to be auditioned. Her confidence made the authorities take her audition. It was her confidence that kept her going throughout.
She kept it real
When it came to her work, she never sugarcoated her opinions. For her single, ‘Walkin’ at Midnight,’ she first declared that she did not like it even though she recorded it at the end. This showed that Cline knew what she wanted and didn’t hesitate to voice it.
5 Surprising Facts
She had a different nickname
Before coming to be known as Patsy, she went by her childhood nickname, Ginny.
An infection led her to sing
A throat infection and rheumatic fever affected her vocal cords, and she had a booming voice after her recovery, which made her interested in singing.
She didn’t like her hit
Even though it provided her with a breakthrough, Cline didn’t like ‘Walkin After Midnight.’
She couldn’t read music
Because her musical skills came largely through self-learning, Cline could not read music.
She was a school dropout
After her father deserted the family, she dropped out of school to support her mother.
Patsy Cline FAQs
Was Patsy Cline a smoker?
It was mentioned that she kept a cigarette in her purse and smoked occasionally.
Who was Patsy Cline’s best friend?
Her best friend was the singer-songwriter, Loretta Lynn, whom she often mentioned.
Who influenced Patsy Cline?
It was known that she looked up to pop star Helen Morgan, along with Kate Smith and Charline Arthur.
Patsy Cline’s birthday dates