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Patsy Cline House
Winchester, VA

Patsy Cline stamp
Artist: Richard Waldrep, from the Collection of the United States Postal Service

Located in a working-class neighborhood in the City of Winchester, Virginia, this modest house was the residence of country music legend Patsy Cline (1932-63), who lived here from the ages of 16 to 21, when she married Gerald Cline. Patsy resided here from 1948-53, longer than at any other house associated with her in the Winchester and Nashville areas, and she returned to it intermittently until her singing career began in 1957.

Patsy's mother, Hilda Hensley, made a home here with her three children, Virginia Patterson (Patsy), Sylvia, and Sam, Jr. The family's house was a foundation and a springboard for Patsy's ambitious dreams of becoming a country music star. More than 40 years after Cline's tragic death in 1963, her country music legacy endures. Her expressive voice and exuberant musical style propelled Patsy Cline to the top of the record charts and the pinnacle of popular recognition in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Her haunting voice has become an American standard for musical excellence ever since. Cline was the first solo female singer to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1960, and the first woman to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Her legend lives on today. Cline's albums and CDs continue to sell "platinum" every year and she has been on Billboard Magazine's Top Country Album List for the last ten years. "Crazy," one of Patsy's best-known songs written by Willie Nelson, continues to be the number one jukebox hit of all time.

[Photo] Patsy Cline House
Photo courtesy of Bill Cox, pastycline.info

Patsy Cline's teenage and young adulthood home is significant beyond her musical career. It attests to the challenging personal circumstances of Patsy's girlhood and her unusual tenacity. She was determined to realize her personal dream to be a singer in a time when most women commonly remained in the home as housewives. As a struggling new talent in the 1950s and early 1960s--and, from the age of 15, one of two heads of the household--Patsy learned to succeed through hard work and perseverance, especially in the male-dominated realm of the country music industry.

Patsy's career was a slow rise from obscurity to fame. Patsy left school at age 16 to help her mother, recently separated from Patsy's father, make money to support the family. Her musical career began in Winchester as a singer on Joltin' Jim McCoy's broadcast on Sunday mornings on WINC. At Winchester 's Palace Theater (since demolished) Patsy engineered an introduction to famed gospel legend Wally Fowler and his Oak Ridge Quartet. Fowler, impressed by her singing, showed up at the family house promising to launch Patsy's career. Patsy's mother sewed some of her costumes at the house that appeared in Patsy's earlier shows. By 1954 Patsy signed her first record contract with 4 Star Records and in 1956 recorded her trademark song, "Walkin' After Midnight."

After leaving her Winchester home Patsy would return, first when she was pregnant with her first child, Julie. In 1959 Patsy and Charlie moved to Nashville . Patsy Cline's life ended in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, in Camden , Tennessee. In spite of her shortened career, her influence and impact on the music industry only grew. The house in Winchester serves as a proud testament to Patsy's love of family. Her devoted and influential relationship with her mother and their drive and determination launched Patsy's career. Located on South Kent Street , the Patsy Cline House is a private residence. According to a recent interview with Patsy's second husband, Charlie Dick, much of the Winchester house, its landscaping and the surrounding neighborhood appear approximately the same as when Patsy lived there.

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