December 10, 2009

Patsy Cline//Walking After Midnight

I am such a sucker for a pedal steel. Honestly, I can feel so-so about a song...then add pedal steel--suddenly, I'm sold. I know, what a cheap date.

Let's face it though, this song would be incredible if Patsy Cline was just singing it a cappella. Cline's got this way of fully embodying romantic tragedy in her voice that few people can pull off.

As a late '50s/early '60s country singer who enjoyed a lot of crossover success, she's got plenty of hits. It's hard to choose just one of her songs to put up here. Although "Crazy," and "I Fall to Pieces" are two other predictable favorites, I've always had a special fondness for this song, even though Cline herself was never very into it. I think it's a very honest portrait of how love can kind of make you do ridiculous/rash/insane things.

Something truly interesting about Cline is that she broke through many barriers for women in country music and the entertainment business as a whole. From wikipedia:

She was so respected by men in the industry, that rather than being introduced to audiences as “Pretty Miss Patsy Cline” as her female contemporaries often were, she was given a more stately introduction such as that given by Johnny Cash on their 1962 tour together: “Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only Patsy Cline.” As an artist, she held her fan base in extremely high regard (many of whom became friends), staying for hours after concerts to chat and sign autographs.

Cline was not only the first woman in country music to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall (which she did with fellow Opry members and disapproval from gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen—whom Cline fired back at) but also to headline the Hollywood Bowl with Johnny Cash and, later, in 1962, the first woman in country music to headline her own show in Las Vegas.

According to legend, Cline also predicted her own death, which came in a 1963 airplane crash. Creepy.

Walking After Midnight.mp3

I go out walking after midnight,
Out in the moonlight,
Just hoping you may be
Somewhere a-walking after midnight
Searching for me.

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