Friday, May 13, 2011
Sentimentally Yours - Patsy Cline
This was Patsy Cline's third studio album originally released on Decca Records. I picked this up in the 1980s. I recently saw the Living Sisters tribute to Patsy Cline at Disney Hall in Los Angeles and was reminded of how great Cline was and how much her music meant to me. It was a terrific concert - I never would have imagined I would ever see John Doe or Shirley Manson covering Patsy Cline (beautifully done too.) I came to Patsy Cline pretty late. As a child I hated country music. My father had a Hank Williams record that he liked to blast on his stereo and whenever he did, I would leave the room or if possible the house. I thought it was horrible, though fortunately I've since realized I was wrong. I still have dismal memories of road trips on Interstate 80 crossing Nevada as a child with only country music stations on the radio and my sisters and I writhing in agony and praying for a top 40 station to come in at some point. Eventually in my late teens I came to like country music mostly because of country rock records by the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and especially Linda Ronstadt's "Silk Purse." Nonetheless I remained lukewarm about it until 1985 when I saw the Patsy Cline biopic "Sweet Dreams." I saw it in a nice theater with really good sound and hearing her incredible voice just blew me away. What a sublime gift she had. I dedicated myself to collecting everything of hers I could find on vinyl and the tapes I made from those records were the soundtrack for my road trips for many years. Aside from her "Greatest Hits" record, this is my favorite of Cline's albums. It is split between country songs and pop standards, but since she brings a country feel to the pop songs and a pop sensibility to the country songs the songs flow together very smoothly. I love the entire record but I guess my favorite cut would be "Lonely Street." My father had Andy Williams' album of the same name, so I know the song quite well, but Cline really makes the song her own with just a stupendous vocal performance. It gives me the chills. She sings with so much feeling and sincerity, the heartache she brings to the music is almost palpable in songs like "She's Got You," "Strange," "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still In Love With You)" and "You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)". You'd have to have a heart of stone not to melt when she sings "You Belong To Me" or "That's My Desire." Even a corny old chestnut like "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)" sounds fresh and powerful when she sings it. Every time I hear this record I fall in love with her all over again. Recommended for anyone who has ever had a broken heart, meet your patron saint.