Dolly Parton recalled the first time she ever heard Patsy Cline sing. Parton reflected on the special moment in the foreword she wrote for fellow country singer, Loretta Lynn’s memoir, Me & Patsy: Kickin’ Up Dust.
“The first time I heard Patsy Cline’s voice, it really caught my ear,” Parton wrote in the foreword. “She is a true stylist, and I just thought it was so very different and so unusual. I have always loved her sound. I’m a great admirer of people who have developed their own style.”
In addition, Parton shared her favorite song of Cline’s.
“My favorite song of Patsy’s was “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Parton revealed. “It was haunting and special and painted a picture that I will never forget. I know the fans loved the song “Crazy,” which I did as well, but we all have our favorites.”
“There is not a person in the music industry who does not feel like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow,” she said, adding, “with their distinct voices, memorable lyrics, and emotional stories, they set the tone for what all musicians aspire to—to this day. Nobody else sounds like Loretta, and nobody else sounds like Patsy.”
Parton also recalled hearing Cline sing at the Grand Ole Opry following a car accident in 1961 that left the “Crazy” singer with facial injuries.
“I remember seeing Patsy Cline [at the Grand Ole Opry],” Parton said in an article published by the Tennessean. “I was young, and it was after she had had a car wreck and she’d gotten scarred up,” she explained.
“And I remember as a child thinking there was this really big deep scar between her eyebrows. I remember seeing her before she had that, and I remember thinking about how awful that was that she got her pretty face scarred up like that. It didn’t hurt her singing any,” Parton continued.
“But I just felt sorry and sad just thinking about her nearly getting killed in a wreck and how she wound up dying anyway. I just remember looking at her and seeing that and then her walking to the microphone and her starting to sing and then nothing else registered besides her God-given voice.”
Cline died in March 1963 during a plane crash while on her way home from playing a benefit concert in Kansas City, Kansas. Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas were also killed during the crash.
Although she never won a Grammy award before her death at age 30, Cline has been recognized by the Recording Academy posthumously.
Parton along with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette paid tribute to Cline by adding their voices to “Lovesick Blues” in 1993.