It was a time when men ruled the radio waves, the production booths and the record companies.
But for the eight short years she recorded and performed music until 1963, the lush voice of Patsy Cline helped to clear the way for other women not only in the country music world, but also popular music in general.
In the years following her untimely death, Cline's legacy grew, touching generation after generation of performers and music lovers all over the world.
Along with her stand several other female performers who took the country music world by storm. Before Patsy Cline came Kitty Wells, the Queen of Country Music, who helped usher in an era ripe for female recording artist successes.
Wells' notable 1952 recording, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, propelling her into a star – the very first female country music star ever.
She continued to record Top 10 hits for the next 10 years, leaving her mark on many young female singers for years to come.
Following in the steps of Wells and Cline came other well-known female country music stars that not only made huge inroads for other aspiring young songwriters and performers, but who also blatantly sang about women's rights.
Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton all grew up in harsh blue-collar, poverty-stricken backgrounds, which helped to color their songs with overtones of real life.
Songs about broken hearts, abusive marriages, single motherhood and the discovery of "the pill" helped these performers level the playing field for women in a business dominated by males. These songs drew in new listeners – female listeners who bought records because they could relate to the very real pictures these songstresses were painting.
Patsy Cline, along with Lynn, Parton, Wells and Wynette, played a very pivotal role in helping to build a legacy that inspires female artists even today. Cline's music remains relevant even into the 21st century, almost 50 years after her death – a true artist who didn't let the confines of mid-century gender roles keep her from her achieving her dreams.
Cline would have been 80 on September 8.
Twinkle VanWinkle ponders, creates and discovers cool stuff about music, movies, food, fashion and so forth. Her thoughtful writings and interactives give great advice about healthy food, cooking tips, DIY projects, fashion and more. She'll teach you a thing or two about music as well. Along with producing dynamic entertainment content for LIN Media, she is a mother, musician and social media fanatic.
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