I was given complimentary tickets, but all opinions are mine. 40 years before Taylor Swift left country music for pop, Patsy Cline did it first. She was a pioneer of the country music industry and has been a major influence on today’s stars. Now her life is celebrated in the Patsy Cline Museum in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Patsy Cline Museum opened to the public in April of this year. The Patsy Cline Museum is a treat for country music fans. The museum houses the largest collection of Patsy Cline memorabilia under one roof. The Patsy Cline Museum celebrates the life of the legendary songstress and features hundreds of never before seen artifacts, personal belongings, videos and much more.
Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, VA, on September 8, 1932. The family home was in nearby Gore. Her natural talent and spirit took her to the top of the country charts in 1962. After more than 50 years, her style and popularity has never waned.
When Patsy first started out, she performed in many variety and talent shows. She also made several local radio appearances where she gained a growing following. In 1954 Patsy became a regular with Jimmy Dean on Connie B. Gay’s Town and Country Jamboree radio show.
Patsy’s big break came when she won an Arthur Godfrey Talent program in 1957 with the hit Walkin’ After Midnight. From there she pursued a recording career appearing at the mecca of country music – the Grand Ole Opry in 1958, and received national awards in 1961 and 1962. Patsy won an award for #1 Juke Box Record “Crazy”, #1 Female Artist 1961 and 1962 and #1 Song of 1962 “I Fall to Pieces.”
On September 15, 1957, Cline married Charles (Charlie) Allen Dick. Patsy always said Charlie was “the love of her life.” The two had two children, Julia Simadore (called Julie and Allen Randolph Dick (called Randy). Charlie died November 8, 2015, and was buried next to Patsy in the Shenandoah Memorial Park in Winchester, Virginia.
Patsy and Charlie bought their dream house at 815 Nella Drive. The house, built in 1962, had 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and a total of 2,771 sq.ft. Patsy decorated each room herself. She loved the look of Danish inspired furniture, as can be seen in her original dining room set in the photo above. Patsy and Charlie entertained many guests in their recreational room which boasted a red leather bar with their names on the front!
Patsy had a fashion sense that was as bright as her personality. Her seamstress was none other than her mother, Hilda Hensley. Her mother was an apt seamstress who took in work from the wealthy in the Winchester area.
Patsy would sketch her ideas and her mother would recreate them. As Patsy matured, so did her style. She moved from the fringe and cowboy boots to more high fashion couture.
On March 3, 1963, Patsy, along with Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins performed at a benefit. The next day, they could not fly out because the Fairfax Airport was fogged in. Dottie West offered Patsy a ride back to Nashville, which would have been a 16 hour drive. Because Patsy had the flu, she didn’t want to have such a long car ride.
Instead, she, Copas and Hawkins, boarded a Piper PA-24 Comanche plane, piloted by Randy Hughes. In severe weather, the plane crashed in the woods near Camden, Tennessee. Everyone on board was killed instantly. After her death, the song “Sweet Dreams” was released and became a hit.
The Patsy Cline Museum
The museum is open 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Monday – Sunday and is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas
119 3rd Ave. S
Nashville, TN 37201
You can follow the Patsy Cline Museum on Facebook.
Adult $18.95 plus convenience fee
Child (Ages 6-15) $14.95 plus convenience fee
Ages 5 & Under Free
Please allow an hour to an hour and a half to tour the museum.