In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Patsy Cline was the epitome of country-pop. She crooned songs of love, poured her rich voice into songs of heartbreak, and put some attitude in upbeat ditties. She performed for almost 10 years before her breakthrough in 1957. After that she was known for her smooth, emotive voice, helping to break the gender barrier in country music, and crossover hits. Despite the fact that Cline’s time in the spotlight was tragically short, she certainly shined bright.
Her big break came in 1957 with a spot on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts show. Cline won the program’s competition and impressed audiences with her performance of one of her biggest hits, “Walkin’ After Midnight.” The song was a success in both country and pop, reaching No. 3 on country charts and becoming a Top 20 pop hit.
Cline worked with producer Owen Bradley and selected material that was better suited to her voice and style. Bradley created the orchestral arrangements with backup vocals by the Jordanaires, Nashville session guitarist Hank Garland, pianist Floyd Cramer, and drummer Buddy Harmon. They developed a country style with pop, and since her voice was more confident and mature, the collaboration produced a richer sound.
With Decca Records, Cline released the biggest hits of her career in ’61 and ’62. “I Fall to Pieces,” a heartbreaker about loss, reached the top of country charts and was a Top 20 single on pop charts. Later that year she released “Crazy,” a song about the inner turmoil of sensing a failed relationship, which peaked at No. 2 in country and No. 9 in pop. She also survived a terrible car accident in ’61, which didn’t stop her from reaching No. 1 on country charts in ’62 with the aching ballad, “She’s Got You,” about the one that got away. At this point her recordings were dominated by romantic songs, leaning heavily on forlorn tales of love and loss.
Cline’s life was cut short on March 5, 1963 when she died in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee. She was returning from Kansas City, Missouri when the single engine plane went down. Cline was only 30 years old. A crowd of over 25,000 people mourned at her funeral.
Concert posters advertising Patsy Cline shows are in the affordable range for most collectors with many averaging between $200 to $500, with some selling for up to $1,125. To learn more about Patsy Cline and her concert posters, order a copy of The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Concert Posters from gemstonepub.com.