Jeni and I went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (CMHOF) today with Marcy, Jeni’s Mom, to hear songs and stories about Patsy Cline.
There were two events celebrating the new Patsy Cline exhibit, “Crazy For Loving You”, that just opened on Friday. The first one was a panel discussion, “I’ve Got Your Memory: Family and Friends Remember Patsy Cline”, with Patsy’s husband, Charlie Dick, Charlie and Patsy’s daughter, Julie Fudge, Country music singers and Grand Ole Opry stars George Hamilton IV and Jan Howard, and Nashville session musician Harold Bradley. It was moderated by CMHOF senior historian, John Rumble.
The stories from Patsy’s family and friends were heart-felt, down-home shared memories that recalled a feisty, funny, hard working wife, mother and singer who loved family, friends and fans most likely in that order.
Charlie spoke about her love of singing and how she could sing anything, her favorite being Western Swing songs. Julie spoke about how her Mom and her Grandmother painstakingly made Patsy’s stage clothes by hand on a treadle sewing machine. One particular red fringe dress had over three thousand sequins sewn by hand.
George Hamilton IV spoke about the first time he heard Patsy sing in Washington D.C. She sang a gospel song, “Life’s Railway To Heaven”, and how he later sang that song at his grandfather’s funeral who was a railroad man. Jan Howard told a story about the song, “I Fall To Pieces” and how her husband, Harland Howard, had co-written the song with Hank Cochran. She said she didn’t like the song jokingly because she had been promised to record the song for her record label but then her demo was pitched to Patsy who recorded it for release first which went on to become Patsy’s first number one hit Country song.
Harold Bradley, who played guitar and/or tick-tack bass on all but four of Patsy’s recordings, spoke about Patsy’s intensity every time she stepped up to the microphone. He also said that two of the things he’d learned from being a session musician was that 1. the singer is always right and 2. the singer is never wrong. Here is a picture of Harold’s personal calendar that shows the session for Patsy’s “Crazy” written by Willie Nelson.
Just another day in Nashville.
Thanks to Jeni, her Mom, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.