Patsy Cline was a legendary singer with an unforgettable emotional voice who paved the way alongside Kitty Wells for future female country artists.
The pain in her voice has inspired many singers, including Reba McEntire, who was quoted in a blurb in the official Patsy Cline box set, “Patsy taught me emotion, raw, unashamed and heartfelt.”
I witnessed this in Peninsula Players performances of “Always… Patsy Cline”. Customers not only clap when they hear the opening bars of their favorite Patsy hit, but they also hum or sing softly. The nightly standing ovations, cheers and screams of “More” are not only a testament to the talented band, actress / singer Christine Mild (who plays Patsy) and Karen Janes Woditsch as his girlfriend Louise, but also of the mystique of Patsy.
Customers leaving the theater have a gleam of joy in their eyes and a big smile on their faces. “Wow”, “It was wonderful”, “Thank you”, “Even better second time around” are just a few of the comments the service manager hears from grateful and enthusiastic customers.
Before Cline died in a plane crash in 1963, she left quite a work for her fans. She recorded 17 singles between 1955 and 1960, but only one was successful.
“Walkin ‘After Midnight” was recorded in 1956 but was released only after Cline’s appearance on a TV show. Due to an unfair deal, which limited her to songs from a publisher, she could not follow “Walkin ‘After Midnight”.
The first time many people saw her perform was on “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” on January 21, 1957. Louise Seger, a housewife from Houston who became fan and friend no. 1 by Cline. Seger’s character says “Always… Patsy Cline.”
After Cline froze the applause, Godfrey said, “There must be stardust on you.” Following her successful performance of “Walkin ‘After Midnight” on the show, the record was immediately released and the song peaked at No.2 on the Billboard Country Singles charts.
“Back in Baby’s Arms” was a recording Christine and the band performed on “Always… Patsy Cline” which did not make the charts when it was originally released. However, the song is included in Cline’s 1967 “Greatest Hits” collection, which was re-released in 1988. Eventually, this album was certified Diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America, designating the sale of 10 million copies. . The album was recognized as the longest title by a female artist of any musical genre in the 2005 Guinness Book of Records.
In 1960, Cline secured a new recording contract with Decca, recorded “I Fall to Pieces” and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry. In 1961, the song reached number 1 on the country charts and number 12 on the pop charts, the first of several country-pop crossovers for Cline, including “Crazy”, “She’s Got You” and “Leavin ‘on Your. Mind. “
“Crazy” was written by Willie Nelson and recorded by Cline with Floyd Cramer on piano, Grady Martin on guitar and Elvis backing vocals The Jordanaires. The version of Cline is a treasure in the American songbook. It peaked at No. 2 in 1961 on the Billboard Hot Country and Western chart, No. 2 on Billboard Easy Listening, and No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Millions of his records have sold, making Cline a music icon on par with Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. In 2002, she was voted No. 1 of CMT’s “40 Greatest Women in Country Music” and ranked 46th in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.
In 2001, the Recording Industry Association of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Scholastic, Inc. created a list of 365 songs for inclusion in Songs of the Century, a list that promotes a better understanding of America’s musical and cultural heritage. “I Fall to Pieces” was voted 107.
Cline’s accomplishments were recognized with her 1973 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in a 2012 special exhibit that featured her cowgirl-style red skirt and blouse, applied with ox and wheel felt designs. trolley and embellished with rhinestones and leather. fringe, a costume designed and sewn by her mother, Hilda Hensley. The exhibit also featured elegant stage and evening wear, including Cline’s gold lamé pants and matching ankle boots.
At The Players, all of these outfits were painstakingly researched, designed, created and assembled for “Always… Patsy Cline” by costume designer Pamela Rehberg and costume store manager Kyle Pingle. Over 1,000 rhinestones were hand applied to various costume pieces by Kyle and production intern Ellen Johnson.
The Players production of “Always… Patsy Cline” wraps up this weekend, and we hope to see you by the Bay tapping your feet with Christine, Karen and the musical styles of the backup band The Bobdacious Bobcats: Malcolm Ruhl on piano, Louis Jay Meyers on pedal steel guitar, George Sawyn on guitar, Craig McClelland on bass, Lynn Gudmundsen on violin and Bruce Newbern on drums.
I hope to see you around the bonfire with a hot cider or come out of the theater with stars in your eyes. Join us Wednesday to Saturday at 7 p.m. or October 19 at 4 p.m. for the closing show. For tickets or more information, visit www.peninsulaplayers.com or call (920) 868-3287.
Audra Baakari Boyle is Commercial Director of the Peninsula Players Theater, which is celebrating its 20th season with the company.