In a Nutshell
Patsy Cline was not your average country star.
By all accounts, she had a huge personality, a heart of gold, and an extremely hard life. She sang with a singular intensity, and gave her all on stage and in person. She cried during performances, swore at producers, and fought hard for her career. Before all that, Patsy Cline—born Virginia Patterson Henley—survived childhood abuse, poverty, and a series of broken relationships with men. When she finally climbed to fame after years of singing in obscurity on a bad recording contract, it was on the force of songs like "Crazy": a simple, tragic country tune that drips with Patsy's sadness, sass and strength. Then, less than two years after she finally attained superstardom, Patsy Cline was dead. Get the full story right here on Shmoop.
About the Song
||Musician(s)||Patsy Cline (vocals); The Jordanaires (vocals)
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
With charisma that's been compared to that of Elvis
and talent that places her among the biggest names in country music
, Patsy Cline is arguably the most legendary female country singer in history. Her friend and confidante Loretta Lynn
followed close on her heels, but it was Patsy who first showed that a woman could be a country music superstar. Her trailblazing paved the way for the blockbuster careers of Dolly Parton
, Shania Twain, and Taylor Swift. Her young death also made her a tragic legend, a female Hank Williams
in the minds of some. What was it that made Patsy Cline and her version of "Crazy" so special to fans back then? How does a legacy created in just a few short years live on today?
On the Charts
"Crazy" was Patsy Cline's biggest crossover hit, making it to #9 on the Billboard Hot 100
"Crazy" charted at #2 on the Hot Country Songs chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Proving Cline's lasting legacy, the soundtrack to a Cline biopic, Sweet Dreams
, hit #6 on the Country Albums chart in 1987. Cline's 12 Greatest Hits
album charted at #27 on the Country Albums in 1990, nearly 30 years after her death.
In 1973, Patsy Cline became the first woman inducted into
the Country Music Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame website calls "Crazy" "the number one jukebox hit of all time."
Cline is ranked at #46 on Rolling Stone
's "100 Greatest Singers of All Time" list.