Patsy: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline

by Margaret Jones

Patsy Cline is an archetypal American heroine who sprang from her own conception of what it truly means to be a star, a woman whose willfulness and independence made her ahead of her time. The story of her rise to fame at a time when female singers were considered window dressing is an incredible tale of tenacity set in a series of uncanny "coincidences" that give her life a mythic quality. PATSY chronicles the life of this ambitious singer, from her impoverished childhood and likely sexual abuse by her father, through her struggle for success and her exploitation by record producers, to her phenomenal but short-lived recording career. The book is based on hundreds of interviews: family, childhood friends, and some of Nashville's leading figures of the '50s and '60s, including Loretta Lynn, June Carter Cash, Johnny Case, Willie Nelson, Barbara Mandrell, Faron Young, Roy Clark, Jimmy Dean, Johnny Western, Tompall Glaser, songwriters Harlan Howard and Donn Hecht, and legandary record man Owen Bradley. The result is the first fully drawn portrait of this crossover superstar, as well as a vivid historical picture of the country music world as it was transformed from a regional anomaly to a multimillion-dollar industry.

Margaret Jones's biography of the pentultimate country music diva, PATSY: the Life and Times of Patsy Cline (DaCapo Press 2007; originally pub'd by HarperCollins 1994), was described by acclaimed author Michael Dorris, reviewing for the Los Angeles Times, as “definitive . . . It reads as her life was lived, like the melodramatic but hopelessly ‘true’ lyrics of a Nashville ballad.” Ms. Jones has discussed the life of legendary Nashville star Patsy Cline on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” on various BBC programs, on the Nashville Network, and as a panelist at the SXSW (South by Southwest) music conference, as well as on radio stations and newspapers throughout the U.S. and Europe. She is a contributor to The Encyclopedia of Country Music (Oxford University Press), described as “the definitive historical and biographical work of the past eight decades of country music.”