(Virginia Patterson Hensley)
Birthplace: Winchester, Va.
America fell in love with Cline's achy-breaky voice after seeing her perform “Walkin' After Midnight” on Arthur Godrey's Talent Scouts in 1957. Contract difficulties interfered with her career until 1960, when she recorded “I Fall to Pieces.” The hit established a prototype for commercial country with its lush orchestral arrangements and backup vocals by the Jordanaires. Some Cline disciples, however, prefer earlier radio recordings that depend only on the heartbreaking emotion she conveyed with her voice. Much of her achingly romantic material was supplied by Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard, and Willie Nelson. Despite being in a serious auto accident in 1961, Cline had hits that year and the next with “Crazy” (penned by Willie Nelson) and “She's Got You.” Cline's career was in a slump in 1963 when her death in a plane crash revived it. She was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. A bell tower and several highways in Virginia have been named to commemorate her.Died: Camden, TN, 3/5/1963