Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patsy Cline--Crazy (1961)

     The song "Crazy" put two different artists on the musical map. The singer who made her signature song, and the writer who would later become an star in his own right.....

     By 1961, Patsy Cline had just taken a turn in her career that would help her break through in a big way. In 1955, she had signed a contract with Four Star Records, but there was stipulation that she could only record songs by Four Star songwriters. This didn't set well with her as she struggled to find a sound suitable for her husky voice. Through appearances on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts in 1957, the song, "Walkin' After Midnight" reached the charts, but it was the only song in 5 years that even charted.

     Her contract went out in 1960 and she signed with Decca Records-Nashville under the direction of legendary producer Owen Bradley. Her first single, "I Fall to Pieces" went to No. 1, but the next song, "Crazy", was one she didn't like, nor did she like the way it was sung. Part of the problem seemed to be that Nelson's demo was a faster tempo than Cline was comfortable with, and the second was the attempt to sing it with the vocal breaks like Nelson. Anyone who has heard Willie's music knows his vocal style is truly one of a kind, so an adjustment to a ballad type style, along with Patsy's smoothing out of the rough edges of the vocals created a musical masterpiece.

    Two years later Cline was gone, but in that short time, the music, and her take charge attitude concerning her career totally redefined country music for generations of women. Although it would take Nelson another decade to break through on his own terms, "Crazy" gave a hint of what would make him a star. This song, became the base for which the both of them became American icons.


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