Patsy Cline
September 8, 1932 -
March 5, 1963

~ Gone too soon ... but
what a legacy she left ~

WELCOME !  As Patsy would say: Hoss, Come on in, sit right down and make yourself to home!

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Thank you for visiting the   Website of Ellis Nassour's
Patsy Cline :

Honky Tonk Angel

For information about Patsy Cline or to E-mail comments:
       "What self-respecting person can listen to Patsy Cline's 'I Fall  to Pieces' without having
  a nervous breakdown? Cline, the hayseed Judy Garland,  wrung suffering out of every word
  she sang just so we could unleash our own most self-pitying emotions along with her and  
  enjoy a good, healthy musical catharsis that's a lot cheaper than psychotherapy . . . (Patsy
  Cline) was hardly the vulnerable waif offstage, pining for all those creepy men while pretend-
  ing to tell them off. Patsy didn't pretend. She was a tough cookie with the mouth of a truck
  driver, a down-home  gal . . . with an undeniable magnetism that allowed her to project the
  emotions of songs like 'Crazy' . . .  Thoroughly researched . . . tells the story of a woman
  who just wanted to get ahead, be a serious country diva on her own terms . . . The book hits
  some raw nerves . . .  A full portrait, not a Hollywood portrait . . . I find it hard to shake off
  some of Nassour's darker revelations . . ."
Michael Musto, Details


"Patsy Cline's immortal voice sings in the biography Honky Tonk
Angel. It all leads to that terrible nose-dive of the four-seater plane . . .
and it brings tears streaming down your face just like the tears that
streamed down hers when she sang those sad `you-done-me-wrong-
 dang-you' ballads with all her aching heart . . . It may be hokey, but 
the 'spirit' of the mean-as-a-polecat-sweet-as-a-kitten girl who just
wanted to play the (Grand Ole) Opryand make enough money to
forget her past, lives on. Victim. Vamp. Vixen. Virginia Hensely
(Patsy Cline) deserved to be called all three . . . The portrait that
 emerges is larger than life, yet still intimate.   Honest and respectful."
                                     ~ VIRGINIAN-PILOT, Norfolk


   "(Ellis) Nassour has drafted an intelligent, extremely detailed look at
the singer's career . . . an honest, gritty look at '50s and '60s Nashville . . .
Fueled by extensive interviews with Cline contemporaries such as Dottie West,
Loretta Lynn and the ever-so-quotable Faron Young, readers get a candid look
at what it took for Cline to become a Country and Western star . . . The book is
packed with details on how Cline developed her vast, angelic sound . . . It 
makes you feel just how great a loss Cline's death was to American pop music.
She was an archetype, as important in her way as Billie Holliday, Bessie Smith
or Aretha Franklin. Nassour's take on her life is a worthy entry into
the ranks of entertainment biographies."
                                      ~ PHOENIX GAZETTE, William Porter
From Publisher's Weekly - Publishers Weekly

memorable biography of one of country music's most enduring legends is a totally new spin on the author's original biography of the country music legend Patsy Cline [Patsy Cline: An Intimate Portrait, 1981 and updated in 1985). According
to Ellis Nassour, Cline (1932-1963) was the first woman to demonstrate that country music could appeal to a wide audience. Bold and ambitious, she was a free-living, earthy performer whom producers sometimes found difficult to work with. She apparently had few close friends, but she showed generosity to any number of people, particularly talented young women singers such as Dottie West and Loretta Lynn. Her long-term association with producer Bill McCall was, financially, ``probably the single biggest mistake Patsy made in her professional life,'' claims Nassour, but he gives McCall great credit for promoting Cline's career. Although Cline died in a plane crash 30 years ago, her musical influence has persisted.

(February 1993) Reviewer: Jack. from West Virginia

Ellis Nassour manages to show the struggle Patsy Cline went through to make it to the top, from her high school days in Winchester VA to her too early death at 30 in a crashed airplane in Tennessee. Lovers of good music who can sing every note of every Cline song, and mimic each break in that unique voice, will learn she grew up collecting Kay Starr records, worked her way around the VA-WV-MD fraternal club circuit, wasn't always popular in her home town and cut a wide path for female country singers to follow. She was a country singer when country was country. But she was also the first to use strings and when Owen Bradley added Floyd Cramer's piano to those famous recording sessions, the real Patsy Cline sound matured in the style still heard around the world today. Well documented, good photos, immensely readable."

Among the most adored female singers of our time was Patsy Cline, a woman who, according to her friends and enemies alike, had a foul mouth, a kind heart and, above all, a golden voice. Ellis Nassour traces a true rags-to-riches story as he details how Cline--born Virginia Hensley in Gore, Virginia, in 1933 -- broke hearts, enraged songwriters and producers and delighted fans. Cline's never-ending search for stardom -- which sometimes led to losing friends and lovers -- and her incredible zest for life even during difficult times keep the book exciting throughout. Nassour, who obviously knows his territory, successfully "proves his thesis" that Patsy Cline was the first female country singer to cross the line into pop and blues.
The author's insights are particularly effective because, in compiling his information, he spoke with dozens of Cline's contemporaries, many of whom gave conflicting stories regarding specific events. The tale of Cline's tragic death in a plane crash with two musician friends and her manager is told with poignancy. Especially touching is the last chapter, which is devoted to the reactions of her two young children, her mother, her husband and her friends, and how all of them managed life without Patsy.

                                                                                           ~~ Mary Frances Wilkens


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