5 Ways Patsy Cline Paved The Way For Women In Country Music By Living Her Life

Country music icon Patsy Cline has tragically died in a plane crash aged 30, but not before paving the way for other “singers” to follow behind her. Here are five ways she became a trailblazer for women of the genre by simply living her life.

Patsy Cline | Archive by Michael Ochs/Getty Images

Patsy Cline didn’t prioritize her first marriage over her career

On March 7, 1953, Cline married her first husband, Gerald Cline. She signed a recording contract the following year and recorded her first songs. Her husband reportedly hoped she would be a more traditional housewife and eventually realized her local appearances were different as she was a proper country star.

According to Virginia Encyclopedia, he became jealous of her success and frustrated by her refusal to put her marriage ahead of her career. They eventually divorced, also in 1957. Notably, the “Crazy” singer kept her last name in her stage name.

Patsy Cline refused to choose between making music and starting a family

The same year the Clines divorced, Patsy married her second husband, Charlie Dick. They married on September 15, 1957, and she had a daughter and a son in later years.

Dick was serving in the military and Cline was looking for another hit to record in the wake of his song, “Walkin’ After Midnight.” Of course, she also took care of her young children.

She therefore resumed performing regionally while her career was temporarily suspended. Eventually, she found another hit when she released “I Fall to Pieces” in 1961. But just before that, she suffered a brutal car accident that hospitalized her for a long time.

As she recovered, the song rose to the top of the country charts. As soon as she could, and while still on crutches, she recorded “Crazy”, written by Willie Nelson. Those who knew her said she was determined to stop anything from getting in her way.

As noted PBS, Cline was a hard worker and she loved to sing and act. Thus, she refused to choose between her family and her career. Despite grueling schedules and weeks away from home on tour, she was back to being a full-time mother and housewife as soon as she walked through the door.

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Patsy Cline applied for membership and wore pants on the Grand Ole Opry

Like many other country music artists, it was a dream come true for Cline to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. But when she was not offered membership in 1960, she asked them to let her in. According to Outsider, they agreed and made her the first and only performer to join the Opry by request.

According to PBS, Cline also redefined what was expected of women in fashion. She wore bright red lipstick with men’s pants and cowboy boots. And the “Sweet Dreams” singer was even the first woman to wear pants on the Opry.

Patsy Cline encouraged fellowship between female country stars

Country star Loretta Lynn mentioned in his autobiography, Loretta Lynn: the coal miner’s daughter, some other country stars weren’t happy with her initial success in the early ’60s. According to her, “a lot of female singers…were trying to get to the top at the same time,” she first came to Nashville.

The competition wasn’t always friendly, but Lynn said Cline was always a good friend. So when other Opry members called Cline and invited her to a meeting to keep Lynn out, she came up with a plan to help her friend.

“Inviting Patsy was their mistake,” Lynn wrote. Cline called Lynn and told her, but she wasn’t chatting. She said they were going to crash this meeting.

“Patsy gave me her approval and I never had any problems with them again,” she concluded. “Actually, they’re all my friends now.”

Patsy Cline was the first woman inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

Cline and three others died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963. Sadly, she did not see the day when she became the first elected female solo artist in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.

RELATED: Patsy Cline had 2 brushes with death before she died at 30

Toya J. Bell