The Maryland-Virginia area has produced a number of entertainment celebrities over the years. Just last week, I posted about Arthur Godfrey, an early television star whose name is rarely recognized today. There was another tremendous star that rose out of the region in the 1950s. Arthur Godfrey made her a star, and that star, Patsy Cline, still shines bright more than fifty years after her tragic death in 1963.
|Patsy Cline Nashville, 1962|
Never met Patsy. Never knew anyone who did. But I did grow up with her music often hearing it over the radio all day at our family's summer haunt in Burlington, West Virginia. The village was on U.S. 50, just a dozen ridges and forty miles west of her first home in Gore, Virginia and a tad farther from her birthplace, Winchester. Perhaps it was too far to claim her as a hometown girl, but the locals loved her and talked often about how proud they were of a country kid who made it big.
Cline was born on this day in 1932. Her brief career had a powerful influence on country and popular music that continues to this day. The depth of her popularity can be measured by her Guinness World Record for having the most weeks on the U.S. charts for any album in any genre by a female artist: 722. Out of the total, 251 weeks were at #1 with Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits, originally released in 1967. Here is a sample of that greatness:
Go buy her albums - original or remastered - because pop culture rarely gets better.
Photo: Les Leverett, WSM Studios, Nashville