In today’s music world, most if not all of the talented artists, crossover and sing different types of music, different venues and even get into the Classical field. When I was young it was rare, but it did happen. R&B artists made the Pop charts and Country artists also crossed over to Pop.
Let’s deal with a very talented Country artist who successfully crossed over to the Pop arena (although she was always Country first), but later came to a tragic end in the early sixties. I give you -
(September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963)
1. Walkin’ After Midnight/ Decca 3021/ 3/2/57/ #12 Billboard
2. I Fall To Pieces/ Decca 31205/ 7/24/61/ #12 Billboard
3. Crazy/ Decca 31317/ 11/6/61/ #9 Billboard
4. She’s Got You/ Decca 31317/ 2/24/62
5. Heartaches/ Decca 31429/ 10/8/62/ #73 Billboard
6. Sweet Dreams/ Decca 31483/ 4/15/63/ #44 Billboard
Born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Winchester, Virginia, a Country music legend, Patsy Cline helped break down the gender barrier in this predominantly masculine musical genre. Known for her smooth-sounding, emotive voice, she started performing at a young age. Cline taught herself to play piano and became interested in Country music.
After a few earlier attempts to get her career started, Patsy got a recording contact in the mid-1950s. This led to the release of one of her greatest hits, “Walkin’ After Midnight.”
Sales of that song took off when she performed it on a television talent show in 1957. After her appearance on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, the song hit both the Country and Pop charts.
In the early 1960s, Patsy Cline joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee—a true sign of her place in Country music. Now with Decca Records, she released some of her greatest hits.
“I Fall to Pieces” hit the top of the Country charts and “Crazy” did almost as well. Outspoken, she developed a bit of tough persona. Still, Cline took the time to help other female performers, such as Loretta Lynn, with their careers.
Patsy Cline’s own career was all too brief. She died on March 5, 1963, in a plane crash.
After her death, the song “Sweet Dreams” was released and became a hit. Considering one of Country music’s greatest vocalists, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Her life became the subject of the 1985 film, Sweet Dreams, starring Jessica Lange. Her music remains popular today with fans around the world.