Our Top 10 Patsy Cline’s Songs list takes a look at one of music’s most influential female singers. She was one of the first country artists to have crossover success in pop music. She may not have wanted that type of success, but it happened anyway. She was one of the first females to have success as a country singer. Her hit songs include “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “When I Get Thru with You,” “So Wrong” and “Leavin’ on Your Mind.” Her greatest hits album sold over 10 million copies and was certified diamond. She was in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest charting album by a female artist. She was one of the first females to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Let’s take a look at the career of singer Patsy Cline.
Virginia Patterson Hensley was born on September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963. She got her start in music in 1952 when she performed with Bill Peer and his group. He talked her into changing her name to Patsy while they were performing. She got her last name from her first husband Gerald Cline. She received a recording contract in 1954. Unfortunately, her singles didn’t chart right away. It would be some time later before she would have successful singles on the Billboard charts. Cline recorded different genres of music. She wasn’t just known as a country singer. She also performed gospel and pop music.
Cline released her first self-titled album in 1957. The album features the singles “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray” and “Then You’ll Know.” Showcase was released in 1961. The album peaked at number 73 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” “The Wayward Wind,” “I Love You So Much It Hurts,” “Seven Lonely Days” and “True Love.”
Sentimentally Yours was released in 1962. This was her final studio album before she was killed in a plane crash. It features the singles “She’s Got You,” “Heartaches,” “That’s My Desire,” “You Belong to Me.” “You’re Cheatin’ Heart” and “Lonely Street.” Portrait of Patsy Cline was released after her death in 1964. It features the singles “Faded Love,” “When You Need a Laugh,” “You’re Kinda Love,” “Crazy Arms,” “Always,” “When I Get Thru with You” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
That’s How a Heartache Begins also came out in 1964. The album didn’t chart on the Billboard charts. The album managed to have hit singles even though the album didn’t chart. It features the songs “That’s How a Heartache Begins,” “He Called Me Baby,” “Lovesick Blues” and “Love Letters in the Sand.” Always came out in 1980. The album peaked at number 27 on the Country music charts. It features the singles “Always,” “Crazy Arms,” “Love Letters in the Sand,” “That’s My Desire,” “Half As Much” and “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want to Do It).”
Patsy Cline may have had a short career, but her memory still lives on today. She was a major influence for other country artists such as Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Leann Rhimes, Sara Evans and many more. Cline had movies written about her. Coal Miner’s Daughter is about Cline and Loretta Lynn’s friendship. Sweet Dreams is about Cline’s life. Actress Jessica Lange portrayed her in the movie. There were TV movies made about Patsy Cline’s life. There aren’t too many artists who have several movies made about his or her life. This is an indicator of how influential she was in music. She made it possible for other country artists to have crossover appeal. She didn’t want to have crossover appeal, but her music reached a wider audience. She may be gone, but she’s not forgotten in the country music world. This Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs list will be about her best songs. Which songs do you think will make the list?
# 10 – Faded Love
The first song on our Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs list is “Faded Love” from The Portrait of Patsy Cline album. The song has a western swing sound to it. The song was one of Cline’s last top 10 songs. She recorded the song just before she was killed in a plane crash. The sentimental song is about her losing a love. She tells the story in metaphors about losing a love. Here is some trivia about the song. Patsy Cline thought the lyrics of the song were too heartbreaking to sing. You would never know she felt that way because she gave the song her all.
She sings the song with such raw emotion. It’s hard to believe she didn’t want to sing the song. She has perfect pitch in the song. She sings with a twang in her voice, which is a reminder that this is a country track. Other than that, it sounds like a pop standard track. If you listen closely, you can hear her sighing and crying at the end of the track. Most singers would have that edited out of their songs, but it wasn’t edited out. It made the song sound even more authentic. This song is a reminder that Cline’s career was too short lived. She had the potential of creating even more beautiful songs.
# 9 – He Called Me Baby
The next song on our Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs list is “He Called Me Baby” from the That’s How a Heartache Begins album. The track has a country and pop sound. The sensual song is about a former relationship. The painful song is about a woman’s journey down memory lane. Cline talks about what happened during a relationship when he used to call her baby. This song proved to be one of her most sensual and risqué tracks at the time of the recording. The orchestral swell of the music gives the track a pop and bluesy sound. It’s easy to forget that it’s a country song. It has crossover appeal. It sounds like something that would have been in a classic movie, which helps with the story she tells the listeners.
The music is touching and moving. It has a simple sound which features limited instrumentation. It sounds like it features the piano, the violin and the drums. This was a great decision because it’s easier to focus on Cline’s vocals. It’s that time to talk about how she sounds on the track. Patsy Cline’s vocals are incredible. You can feel the pain in her voice as she describes how it feels to have her heart broken. She doesn’t hold any notes in the song, but her vocals are strong. She gave a touching performance. She sings the song with a vulnerability that makes the song relatable. The song was recorded in the 60s, but it can still be appreciated today. Anyone who has ever been in love and lost it can relate to this song.
# 8 – Sweet Dreams
The tender song is from The Patsy Cline Story album. The song has a country sound. The agonizing song is about a woman who is upset that the man she loves is never going to make her his woman. She’s aggravated because he would only be with her in his dreams. The song was recorded two times before Cline covered it. Both versions of the song were hits so you know what questions we have to ask. Did she make a mistake covering a hit song? Was she able to make the song her own? The answer to the first question is that she might have made a mistake covering a hit song. Most singers take a big risk when they cover hit songs. The answer to the second question is that she was able to make the song her own. Her version is a country song just like the original, but the musical arrangement gives the song more of a pop feel than a country one.
Once again, Cline wasn’t happy about recording a pop song. She didn’t want to lose her country fans by singing a pop song. The music is breathtaking and magnificent. The string section is a stand out on the song. It will definitely give you chills listening to it. The pianist is a maestro on the keys. The piano chords will definitely get to you. Cline’s vocals are stupendous. She has impressive control over her vocals. Her soothing voice soared above the instrumentation. The song may be hard to hear because she recorded one month before she was killed. The song did get more attention when it was used for the movie about her life.
# 7 – Leavin’ on Your Mind
The dramatic song is from The Patsy Cline Story album. It has a country and pop sound. The interpretive tale is about a woman who dates someone who doesn’t pay attention to her. She suspects he’s cheating on her behind her back. She wants him to be honest with her about whether he’s cheating on her. It’s definitely a different song for the time it was recorded because it feels more appropriate for today. People can connect with this song because they are dealing with this subject now. She was ahead of her time with this track. Cline tells a convincing story about a man possibly cheating on her. The music is soft and soothing.
The arrangement is stunning and it gives the listeners a chance to focus on her voice. The orchestration gives the song a pop feel and not a country feel. It definitely has crossover appeal. It would probably please more pop fans than country fans. If Cline didn’t have a slight yodel in her voice, you would never know it was a country song. There’s only a hint of a twang in her voice at the end of each line she sings. Her voice is enchanting. You could get lost listening to the elegance of her voice. She sounds tender and crystal clear. She belts and holds notes in the song. She was the perfect choice for this ballad. Everything about the song works from her beautiful tone to the poignant music.
# 6 – Imagine That
The devoted song is from The Patsy Cline Story album. It has a country and pop beat to it. This gushing song is about a woman who wants to stand by her man regardless of what he does. She’s very loyal to him. It has a similar theme to Destiny’s Child’s “Cater to You.” She wants to please her man no matter what. Some women may have a problem with the lyrics because she comes off submissive in the song. If you can get past that, it’s still an enjoyable song.
The ballad has more of a country vibe than a pop one. It’s the type of song that would have made her happy because it has the country roots she wants in her songs. The mixture of the guitar riffs and piano chords give it the country vibe she would have enjoyed. Cline’s vocals are exquisite as always. She sounds convincing singing about standing by her man’s side. She sings the song in her normal tone. She doesn’t do any vocal acrobatics, but the song doesn’t need it. Her alto vocals are perfect for the music.
# 5 – So Wrong
The next song on our Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs list “So Wrong” from The Patsy Cline Story album. The song has a country and pop sound. The regretful song is about regretting letting a lover go. She talks about how much she misses the man she loves. People who have been in love have most likely been in this situation. The song has a country meets jazz sound. The guitar strings give the song a country sound while the piano chords give it a jazz sound. It’s a different arrangement, but it works for the theme of the song. T
he track is in Cline’s wheelhouse because she generally talked about the ups and downs of relationships. Fans could relate to her music because she kept it simple. She talked about things people went through in relationships. Cline’s vocals are outstanding on this track. She has a slight yodel to her voice. Her phrasing is impeccable. She sings with effortless clarity and perfection. She belts towards the end of the song and made it sound like a big ballad.
# 4 – When I Get Thru With You
The pleading song is from The Portrait of Patsy Cline album. It has a country and pop sound. The longing song is about a woman who falls for a man who has a girlfriend. She decides to “get thru with him” until he realizes he loves her and not his girlfriend. The song seems risqué for the time it was released. It didn’t fit the clean-cut image that singers of that time had. It sounds like a story that would be featured on a soap opera. She comes across as the bad guy in the song because she wants to go after another woman’s man. She had the self-confidence to pull off a song like this one.
She recorded a lot of ballads so this song was out of her comfort zone. She proved she could sing a song with tempo. The bouncy music sounded like something that would have been played on the beach back in the day. It sounds like beach music. It doesn’t sound like a country song at all. It has excellent crossover appeal. She sings the song in a way that sounds like doo wop music. It was catchy and infectious listening to the way she phrased the lyrics. Cline sounds a little different on the song. She sings in a deeper pitch from her other songs. She sings in time with the beat changes. Her voice is pure genius.
# 3 – She’s Got You
The heartbreaking song is from the Sentimentally Yours album. It has a country beat. The painful song is about a woman who is heartbroken over the loss of her relationship. She looks through all of the things that remind her of her former relationship. She still has the mementos, but she doesn’t have the man she loves. The lyrics are moving and touching as she talks about another woman having her man. She only has the memories, but it doesn’t help her. The music is soft and sultry. It sounds like a doo wop song and not just a country song.
The piano and drums stand out the most on the track. The drums give the song a little tempo that would allow you to slow dance to it. The music is low and you definitely get a chance to focus on Cline’s vocals. She sings the song beautifully. She has all the raw emotion needed to convey the message she’s trying to get out. Her phrasing is impeccable. Her voice is crystal clear and incredibly emotional. She gives the song her all as she tells the heartbreaking story about her man moving on with his life. We dare you not to be moved by this incredible ballad.
# 2 – I Fall to Pieces
The poignant song is from the Showcase album. It has a country and pop sound to it. The love song is about an unrequited love she has for a man. She’s heartbroken every time she seems him. She “falls to pieces” when she sees him. Here is some trivia about the song. Patsy Cline wasn’t the first person to get the song. Bigger stars were given the song first, but they turned it down. She was also reluctant to sing the song because it didn’t have a country feel to it. She didn’t like the idea that it sounded like a pop song. She changed her mind about it after she heard the demo and the rest was history.
She made the right choice to record the song because it was a number one country hit for the singer. It was also a pop hit for Cline. The music is upbeat which is a contrast to the theme of the song. It has a little tempo to allow you to dance to it. The music is soft and doesn’t dominate the track. She sounds louder than the music. Her voice sounds golden. She sings it with the twang it needs to give it the country feel she wanted. She uses vibrato throughout the song. Her vocals are controlled as she belts the lyrics. She had great timing on the song because she knew when to vocally push forward and when to hold back on the track.
# 1 – Crazy
The number one song on our Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs list is “Crazy” from the Showcase album. It has a country, jazz and pop sound to it. The emotional song is about her being in love with someone. The music would please fans of jazz, pop and country music. This was another track that Cline wasn’t happy to record. She didn’t like the pop arrangement of the music. The pop elements give the song excellent crossover appeal. The music would appeal to fans of different genres. The music is simple and sweet. It’s perfect for the time it was recorded. It has a classic sound without sounding too dated. The music is soft and soothing. It’s perfect for slow dancing with that special someone.
Cline’s vocals are fire on this track. Her rich voice sounds polished and mature. She sounds like a seasoned singer on this song. You could easily forget that the song was on her second album. She sounds like she was singing for years. She had an old soul because she was only in her 20s when she recorded the song. She sounds older than that on the track. Her voice can give you goosebumps while she talks about being “crazy” over someone. It’s easy to see why this is one of her signature songs because it has everything going for it. It’s shocking that the song didn’t reach number one on the charts, but it was going to be number one on our list.
Top 10 Patsy Cline Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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