Universal Music Group
CBN.com Patsy Cline's music, performed at the historic Ryman Auditorium, enhanced by the personal memories of a close friend... It's more than just a recording, more than just a theatrical show. It's a special event that thousands of country music lovers have experienced. And the magic of the live performance, of Patsy's music and her personal warmth, is captured on MCA's new recording of Always...Patsy Cline.
Always... is a two-woman musical that opened in 1994 to inaugurate a renovated Ryman Auditorium, the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. It played to sold-out audiences at the 2,000-seat hall throughout its first season, and it returns for a second season beginning in May 1995.
Eighteen of Patsy's songs tell the story of her phenomenal professional success, and her life is personalized by the narration of Louise Seger, a fan of Patsy's who eventually became a close friend and pen pal.
MCA's recording of Always... Patsy Cline features the two performers who opened the show at the Ryman: Mandy Barnett in a stunning re-creation of Cline's performances and Tere Myers as her personable friend Louise.
Louise tells the story of her friendship with Patsy, beginning with the first time she heard that powerful voice on the radio. Songs from the early sessions in the mid-'50s include "Honky Tonk Merry Go Round" and "Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray." Louise sees her for the first time on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts TV show in January 1957, when Patsy sang her breakthrough song "Walkin' After Midnight."
In 1961, Patsy recorded "I Fall To Pieces," one of the records that helped establish the Nashville Sound, and during the period when she was enjoying the success of that record she and Louise finally met. As Louise tells the story, she arrived at a show an hour-and-a-half ahead of time, and Patsy came over to her table and sat down with her friends.
The two friends continued to correspond at Patsy's career took off with such songs as "Sweet Dreams," one of her signature songs that became the title of a movie about her life; "Crazy," the Willie Nelson-penned torch song; and "She's Got You," a huge pop crossover hit.
Louise recalls turning in her local radio station on a morning in 1963, expecting to hear her daily dose of Patsy Cline music and instead learning of Patsy's death in a plane crash. She recalls how Patsy signed all of her letters, "Love Always, Patsy Cline." And the show closes on that poignant note with the song "Always."
"The show has a true magic to it," said the writer of Always..., J. Ted Swindley. "It is simple and straightforward, yet it is able to bring a legend to life. Since the story is told through the eyes of a fan, the mystique of Patsy Cline remains, but the audience is able to learn more about the singer and how her music touched so many people."
Cline's music continues to touch people more than 30 years after her death. Her 1973 Greatest Hits collection on Decca (a forerunner of MCA) has sold over six million copies, making it the biggest selling hits collection by a female artist in any style of music.
Always... Patsy Cline enhances Patsy's musical legacy by its personalization of her music and moreover by its staging at the Ryman Auditorium. Patsy joined the Opry in 1960, when it was still at the Ryman. Her spirit was still there in 1994 according to a reporter for the Nashville Banner, who saw Always... Patsy Cline and wrote, "The Grand Ole Opry was welcoming back an old friend."
Now with MCA's recording of Always... Patsy Cline, the magic of Patsy Cline and the Ryman, of her life and her music, will be there... Always.
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