In a foreword for Loretta Lynn’s new memoir, Dolly Parton revealed lots of personal details about her relationship with the original queen of country music, Patsy Cline. Lynn’s memoir features Cline’s name in the title (Me & Patsy: Kickin’ Up Dust), so Dolly’s descriptions and memories of the classic country singer makes perfect sense.
Dolly said that the first time she heard Cline’s voice, she became a great admirer.
“The first time I heard Patsy Cline’s voice, it really caught my ear,” Parton wrote in the foreword, Country Now reports. “She is a true stylist, and I just thought it was so very different and so unusual. I have always loved her sound. I’m a great admirer of people who have developed their own style.”
Dolly also shared her favorite Patsy Cline song, which she described as “haunting.”
“My favorite song of Patsy’s was “Walkin’ After Midnight,” Parton revealed. “It was haunting and special and painted a picture that I will never forget. I know the fans loved the song ‘Crazy,’ which I did as well, but we all have our favorites.”
Both fans and historians of the genre likely believe that Cline and Lynn set an early tone for the entire trajectory of country music. Parton certainly agrees, saying that each woman left distinctive legacies that all women in the industry strive to emulate.
“There is not a person in the music industry who does not feel like Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn blazed a trail for the rest of us to follow,” she said, adding, “with their distinct voices, memorable lyrics, and emotional stories, they set the tone for what all musicians aspire to—to this day. Nobody else sounds like Loretta, and nobody else sounds like Patsy.”
Dolly Parton wrote that Patsy Cline’s voice meant more than any of the tragedies that befell her at such a young age
Dolly also recalled hearing Cline sing at the Grand Ole Opry following a car accident in 1961. The accident left Patsy with facial injuries. She later died in 1963 in a plane crash while traveling home from playing a benefit concert in Kansas City. Patsy Cline was just 30-years-old when she died.
“I remember seeing Patsy Cline [at the Grand Ole Opry],” Parton said in a separate interview. “I was young, and it was after she had had a car wreck and she’d gotten scarred up.”
“And I remember as a child thinking there was this really big deep scar between her eyebrows. I remember seeing her before she had that, and I remember thinking about how awful that was that she got her pretty face scarred up like that. It didn’t hurt her singing any,” Parton continued.
“But I just felt sorry and sad just thinking about her nearly getting killed in a wreck; and how she wound up dying anyway. I just remember looking at her and seeing that and then her walking to the microphone and her starting to sing and then nothing else registered besides her God-given voice.”