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Patsy Cline Exhibit to Open at Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Michael Ochs Archive

Patsy Cline, one of the most beloved and influential country artists of all-time, will be the subject of a brand-new exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Patsy Cline: Crazy for Loving You, will open Friday, Aug. 24, for a 10-month run in the museum’s East Gallery. The exhibit is scheduled through June 10, 2013.

Opening weekend festivities will include a panel discussion on Aug. 25, featuring Patsy’s husband, Charlie Dick, and daughter, Julie Fudge, along with Country Music Hall of Fame member Harold Bradley and singers George Hamilton IV and Jan Howard. Also on Aug. 25, a concert featuring Harold Bradley, singer-songwriter Jessi Alexander, “Always…Patsy Cline” star Mandy Barnett, duo Striking Matches and singer Emily West. On Aug. 26., the documentary “Patsy Cline: Sweet Dreams Still” will be screened. The panel discussion and concert are included with museum admission and free for museum members; seating is limited and a program pass is required. Visit www.countrymusichalloffame.org for more information.

In conjunction with the exhibit, an 80-page companion book, also titled “Patsy Cline: Crazy for Loving You,” will be published by the museum’s Country Music Foundation Press. The book includes a foreword by Rosanne Cash and an essay by noted Patsy Cline authority Paul Kingsbury.

“Patsy Cline is an American music icon and perhaps the most accessible artist in country music history,” notes Museum Director Kyle Young. “Though she recorded for only eight years and made her last record nearly 50 years ago, her body of work — those classic torch songs and ballads of heartache — have continued to resonate with music fans of all genres. While she considered herself a country singer, she was equally adept at pop stylings, and was a key influence in bringing the two genres closer stylistically in the 1960s. The quintessential torch singer, she could wring every nuance of emotion from a lyric; and her prodigious vocal stylings and unique delivery have influenced scores of artists, including Loretta Lynn, Linda Ronstadt and Reba McEntire.

Among the items on display will be costumes, personal possessions, vintage photographs, handwritten correspondence, career-spanning audio and video footage and more. The exhibit’s narrative draws extensively from the many letters Patsy wrote to her family and to her first fan-club president, Treva Miller. The centerpiece of the exhibit will be a film, created by museum staff and including new interviews with four Country Music Hall of Fame members — Harold Bradley, Brenda Lee, Willie Nelson and the Jordanaires’ Ray Walker — each of whom knew and worked with the singer.

Audio clips from producer Owen Bradley’s original three-track recordings featuring some of Patsy’s greatest performances will also be featured. For the first time, the public will be able to hear her vocals, isolated without instrumental accompaniment, on “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams” and other icon hits.

The exhibit will also feature dozens of artifacts, including Patsy’s unique collection of salt and pepper shakers, daughter Julie’s pink leatherette baby book, with entries handwritten by Patsy, the singer’s pink marble cigarette jar and lighter, hand carved in Italy, the gold I.D. bracelet given by Patsy to her husband, Charlie, and a number of her dazzling costumes, from cowgirl-style skirts to elegant evening wear.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Va., on Sept. 8, 1932, Patsy Cline recorded such classics as “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces” and “Sweet Dreams (of You).” She died tragically in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, at 30 years old. In 1973 she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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