Loretta Lynn’s ‘I Remember Patsy:’ Story Behind Country Legend’s All-Time Tribute to Patsy Cline

by Will Shepard
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Lifetime)

Patsy Cline is widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Loretta Lynn was one of her closest friends. So, it is only fitting that Lynn created a moving tribute to honor the late country legend. Additionally, Lynn is probably Cline’s most successful music disciple.

14 years after Patsy Cline passed away, Lynn released a tribute album to her. The album, “I Remember Patsy” had nine of Cline’s biggest hits on it. Lynn released the album on April 4, 1977.

After forcing her recording label, MCA, to let her release the album, “She’s Got You” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country chart. Moreover, the album reinvigorated a love and passion for Cline’s music in the U.S. and across the world.

What Patsy Cline Means to Loretta Lynn

Lynn is a fervent supporter of Cline and always has been. Since Lynn began in the music industry, Cline always had an influence over her style. In particular, the revamped “I Remember Patsy” album is a clear blend of the two country star’s music.

Lynn tells the story of her friendship with Cline and how much she admires the country legend. In addition to shaping Lynn’s music career, Cline showed her how to be a confident woman.

In particular, Lynn always admired Cline for being so independent. When Loretta produced her first record, “Honky Tonk Girl,” it is very clear just how much of an impact Cline’s independent attitude helped shape the music.

In “I Remember Patsy,” Lynn talks with her producer about her first encounter with Patsy. She first met Cline while the country legend was recording a cover of “I Fall To Pieces” for the radio. Consequentially, the two began performing on the Grand Ole Opry circuit and became legends in their own right.

Undoubtedly, Cline’s greatness will live on forever, in part thanks to Lynn’s tribute album.

Lynn’s Resurgence

About 18 years ago, in 2004, Lynn released the second album she had ever written, “Van Lear Rose.” The United States and the world loved the album. It won a Grammy Award for Best Country Album of the Year.

In part, this inspired Lynn to release another album in 2010 called “Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn.”

The album featured some powerhouse women in country. Lynn and Sony even produced a top ten music video to accompany “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” Additionally, the song cracked the top ten on the Billboard music charts, a first for a woman in almost 60 years at the time.

When Coal Miner’s Daughter came out, she talked further about her tribute album to Cline. She says that Patsy was unlike anyone else in the music industry and is certainly evident during her short career.

“Let’s face it. Nobody can sing Patsy’s songs like Patsy. She was great, and that’s the beginning and the end of the story right there. She wasn’t just a person that sang. [Cline] had a greatness, and I think that came across in the little time that she was here.”

As far as tribute albums, this one to Cline is one of the greats and further immortalizes the singer. The album perfectly captures both women’s spirits, their reverence, and charisma.

[H/T uDiscover Music]