LOVED TO FROM
WHEREVER SHE WAS . . .
For more . . .
ONE OF PATSY'S
BEST FRIENDS WAS TRUDY STAMPER OF NASHVILLE WSM RADIO :
June 1961, after a successful package tour to Hawaii with Ferlin Husky and Faron Young,
and with "I Fall to Pieces" finally racing up the country and pop charts, Patsy
was involved in a head-on car collision that left her near death.
Amazingly, she was back on her feet, albeit
on crutches, in six weeks and back recording ("Crazy") in August and performing
in September at the Grand Ole Opry.
[ From Honky Tonk Angel : The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline;
Collection of Hilda Hensley ]
... Stardom, whether a
husbands or a wifes,
is a terrible thing to bring to a marriage . . .
interviews with Ellis Nassour
for Honky Tonk Angel:The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline
Patsy wrote extensively about her
MARRIAGE AND CAREER
Excerpted from Honky Tonk Angel: The
Intimate Story of Patsy Cline:
The best of
marriages are born of compromise. Enhancing one aspect often means sacrificing another.
Neither Patsy nor Charlie would compromise, and only Patsy made the sacrifices. Those who
knew the Dicks well pinpoint this period [Summer 1961] as the time the problems became
insurmountable. Though proud of her accomplishments, Charlie found Patsys stardom
was a blow to his pride.
No matter how the day started, [then
WSM Radio D.J. and Grand Ole Opry announcer]
Ralph Emery said, it seemed it would end in some argument in which theyd
accuse each other of all kinds of things usually because of Patsys
insecurities and Charlies drunken
met a stranger ... especially if they were good listeners !
She often called and wrote these friends she met along the way.
In 1959, up-and-coming country crossover star Patsy Cline appeared at a Maryland nightclub
owned by the family of aspiring singer Marie Flynt. Patsy and Marie became fast and
endearing friends. This led to an extraordinarily intimate correspondence that
covered four years in fact, until a month before Patsys death, with Cowboy
Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, in the crash of the plane piloted by her manager and lead
guitarist Randy Hughes.
In May 1961, with a new Decca album, Showcase,
zooming up the country charts, Patsys marriage to Charlie Dick became rockier than
ever. In a letter to Marie, Patsy wrote:
I was ready to get a divorce [.] Im tired of being left one night a week[,]
all night long & never knowing where he was
She complained that
Charlie had been out all night drunk
Im sick of this #%&#
If these 2 kids werent here[,] I would never have come home [from
a road tour,] Ill tell you that for sure.
Im at the point where Im just sick in health, happiness & my mind
& nerves are shot
But there was also good news: Since April, when
I Fall to Pieces hit the country charts, it was crossing over to pop and
selling in the thousands.
In an August 1961 letter to Marie, Patsy wrote that she was not at all happy
about Decca producer Owen Bradley forcing her to record pop:
I could spit dust[,] Im so mad. And
he wants to put violins (you heard me) on my new session
Ill die & walk
out before Ill go all the way pop
1961, though Patsy was making an incredibly fast recovery from the auto accident, she was
on crutches and Charlie took leave from his job to accompany her on the road. Now
fragile and on edge, Patsy became less patient with him. She wrote Marie:
its the same ole thing[.]
he proceeded to get drunk every dam[n] night
I get so dam[n] fed up[,]
I could scream. Im at that point again
where it dont matter where he is to me anymore.
Hes just not man enough to take it
I mean the having me where I am now
[as a star] & a wife. But
Im gonna put away as much of this money as I can & then when I get sick enough
of it Ill be able to live with out my dam[n] man
By October 1961,
Patsy wrote Marie that she was filing for divorce. In fact, Patsy told just about anybody
who would listen that she was ready to dump Charlie, but, in spite of bitter
arguments, accusations and wild fights, they always managed to patch their differences
until early 1963 when, according to Patsys mother, Hilda Hensley, and best friend
Dottie West and Roger Miller, Patsy saw an attorney and had divorce papers drawn up.