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August 23, 2012


The Blog Princess is trying to wrap up two massive projects at work by the end of August, so blogging will be intermittent for the next week or so. Lots of 14 hours days, and her spine is just about fused from huddling over the computer screen.

Grim's taking a break from politics. He In solidarity, Eric Hines has posted a few Patsy Cline videos up at Grim's place. Some day the princess will learn to read the signature line on posts!

The princess has a soft spot for Cline - she's one of the few female chanteuses (Bonnie Raitt is another) who sing in her key. Being an alto has its benefits - learning early on to harmonize with just about any melody being one of them. But it's also a joy to be able to sing a straight melody every now and then.

A while back we discussed the dumbing down of modern music. The other night the Spousal Unit and I watched a special on Frank Sinatra as we enjoyed a post-prandial libation. It featured clips from his TV show (we'd forgotten he even had one), but what came across rather painfully was just how beautifully crafted some of those old classics are, and how masterfully they were performed.

When she was just a young lass the princess sang in church choirs, concert choirs, choruses and several combo groups. Doing so gives one an appreciation for how much practice (and talent!) is required to perform well. The human voice is an instrument, and virtuousity doesn't just happen, even for soloists. For groups, even more work is required for things to go smoothly.

At any rate, we've always loved this Patsy Cline number:

Whilst Googling up our favorite version, we ran across a little history on the song. Apparently it was originally written for another singer, but was rejected. Cline didn't care much for the tune either at first, but was persuaded to record it anyway.

When she performed the song on TV in 1957, the audience went wild:

In January 1957, Cline performed the song on an episode of the CBS television program, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. It garnered a strong response from viewers, and was therefore rush-released as a single February 11, 1957. "Walkin' After Midnight" became Cline's first major hit single, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard country music chart, and No. 12 on its pop chart. Although the song was her only hit until 1961, the single version sold over one million copies and is often included on authoritative lists of the all-time greatest songs in country music.

And to think it was almost never recorded! We had no idea of the history, never having heard it until the early 90s when we bought a Patsy Cline's greatest hits tape and fell in love with the tune. This part is particularly lovely:

I stopped to see a weeping willow
Crying on his pillow
Maybe he's crying for me?
And as the skies turn gloomy
Night winds whisper to me
I'm lonesome as I can be

I love the mixture of hope and longing in the song, and the key change after the second repetition never fails to send a small shiver of pleasure up my spine.

Posted by Cassandra at August 23, 2012 07:17 AM

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Hi! Just came up for air. And what sweet air I find! Patsy Cline makes me melt.
I hope to surface again soon.
Be well, friends.

Posted by: spd rdr at August 23, 2012 12:17 PM

Um, I classify almost everything produced as modern "music" that is popular today as obnoxious noise. If something is played at a deafening volume with electronically enhanced instruments and accompanied by very strangely attired people hopping about the stage lip synching turgid lyrics it does not rise to the level of music.

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at August 23, 2012 02:09 PM

I hope to surface again soon.

Just don't stop paddling :p

Capt. Mongo, I like a lot of modern music, but tend to agree that it's nowhere on the level of the older works :)

I'm not mad about most Techno and don't like rap or hip hop at all, but I'm ashamed to admit that I still like a lot of the head banger stuff. Especially when I'm sitting in traffic - it's a great stress reliever.

Posted by: Cass at August 23, 2012 03:11 PM


I recommend "Ride of the Valkyries", "Semper Fidelis" or "Stars and Stripes Forever" at full volume (well, short of ear damage) for traffic stress relief. Does wonders. Of course "Ride" might have some worrisome implications at speed on the interstate.


Posted by: CAPT Mongo at August 23, 2012 03:49 PM

..."Ride" might have some worrisome implications at speed on the interstate....

I made the run from Tyndall AFB to Duluth IAP in a day with Born to be Wild and Saturday Night's All Right, among others, blaring on the car's tape deck at a...high...volume. Kept me awake, they did....

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 23, 2012 05:05 PM

As a Rule, I usually dislike (strongly) country music. I have a Patsy Cline album that I have played to death, and then I went and got Trio with Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and EmmyLou Harris.

Posted by: Carolyn at August 23, 2012 05:19 PM

I never used to care for country music until I lived in NCarolina for a few years. Now I like some of it.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2012 06:48 PM

I never much liked Linda Ronstadt's music, but she absolutely made Pirates of Penzance.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at August 23, 2012 07:21 PM

I didn't realize that was her.

Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2012 07:41 PM

Spot on re: Linda R. in Pirates. Any Gibert and Sullivan requires a pure and sweet soprano--and she absolutely filled the bill. Kevin Cline wasan't too bad either, as I recall.

Posted by: CAPT Mongo at August 23, 2012 09:52 PM

RE: Linda Ronstadt, may I suggest these two albums she made with the Nelson Riddle orchestra:
Sentimental Reasons

What's New

Posted by: DL Sly at August 24, 2012 07:30 PM

I am such a huge fan of these old-styled pictures, I think those vintage times had their own chick and spirit. I would love to have an experience of living during those times,I think it would be so charming. Thank you very much for this post a lot!

Posted by: Tammy Spears at August 29, 2012 10:06 AM