WINCHESTER, Va., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time in American history
characterized by the Cold War, stay-at-home moms, social suppression and
suburbia, how did the beer-drinking, rule-breaking, fringe-wearing,
divorced, high school drop-out Patsy Cline emerge?
On Friday, April 4, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS), in
partnership with the Community History Project of Shenandoah University,
will host a one- day symposium to discuss that very issue. "Sweet Dreams:
The Life and Times of Patsy Cline" brings together scholars, authors and
historians who will survey the life, history and enduring history of
recording artist Patsy Cline.
To conclude the conference, Richmond radio personality and music
producer Tim Timberlake has created a Patsy Cline review featuring
celebrated performers and special guest singers.
"Patsy Cline is arguably Virginia's most significant contribution to
20th century American popular culture," said Paul Levengood, managing
editor of the society's Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. "More
than 45 years after her death, Patsy's life and timeless music continue to
fascinate and entertain. And, the 20th century was the period in which
Virginia changed the most. More and more, the Virginia Historical Society
is using pop culture stories to demonstrate the scope and depth of changes
in the state's history."
Patsy Cline (1932-1963), born Virginia P. Hensley in Winchester, Va.,
is called "the most popular female country singer in recording history" by
the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her brief career produced the number one
jukebox hit of all time, "Crazy," and her "Greatest Hits" album, with more
than 10 million copies sold, is among the elite few to have reached
"Diamond" status (others include The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts
Club Band," U2's "The Joshua Tree," Michael Jackson's "Thriller," and Bruce
Springsteen and the E Street Band's "Live 1975-1985").
Despite the hard-luck stories and the tragic nature of a singing career
cut short, Patsy Cline is regularly invoked as the standard for female
vocalists, both pop and country, and remains a powerful source of
inspiration. She has had a lasting impact on the recording industry as a
whole and paved the way for the brightest female talents of the 20th and
By examining various factors in Patsy Cline's story -- the social and
political climate, early musical influences, her role as a female pioneer
in a male-dominated industry, and her musical accomplishments -- the
symposium will shed light on why this Virginian is so important and how her
life's journey is entwined with our history as a state and a nation.
"Discussing Patsy Cline's career is a wonderful way of exploring themes
in American history in the 1950s," said Warren Hofstra, professor of
history at Shenandoah University and symposium co-organizer and presenter.
"Her story as a struggling artist says a lot about the period and community
from which she came."
To purchase tickets to the event, please visit www.vahistorical.org or
call (804) 342-9673. To enhance the experience, symposium and concert
attendees are encouraged to wear Patsy Cline-inspired attire.
"Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline" is organized with
support from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Norfolk
For more than 175 years, the Virginia Historical Society (VHS) has been
the steward of our state -- and often national -- history. Headquartered in
Richmond, the VHS is the Official State Historical Society and features
award- winning exhibitions that are entertaining and educational for
visitors of all ages. In 2008, the VHS received the coveted four-star
Charity Navigator rating for sound fiscal management. This "exceptional"
designation from Charity Navigator differentiates the society from its
peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust. Hours:
Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (shop and museum
galleries only). Admission: $5/adults, $4/seniors 55+, free/under 18 and
free/members. Admission to the galleries is free on Sundays. For group tour
information, call (804) 342-9652. For more information, please call (804)
358-4901 or visit www.vahistorical.org.
Shenandoah University is a comprehensive Level VI private university
with an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students in six schools: College of Arts
& Sciences, Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Shenandoah Conservatory,
Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, the School of Health Professions
(Athletic Training, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant
Studies, Physical Therapy and Respiratory Care) and the School of Education
& Human Development. The university offers more than 80 programs of study
at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. For further
information, contact the Public Relations Office at (540) 665-4510 or visit
9:30-10:30 Introduction and Keynote
"Patsy Cline and a Changing South, from Depression to
Bill Malone, author and country music historian
"Suite Sweet Dreams Interpretive Dance"
Performed by members of the Shenandoah Dance Ensemble
of Shenandoah Conservatory
11:00-12:30 Session One - Dreams and Nightmares: Patsy Cline and Her
"The Cultural Worlds of Patsy Cline's Winchester"
Warren Hofstra, Stewart Bell professor of history,
Shenandoah University, and Mike Foreman, regional
historian, Winchester, Va.
"Patsy Cline and the Problem of Respectability"
Beth Bailey, professor, Department of History, Temple
1:30-3:00 Session Two - Patsy Cline and the Major Media"
'Walking After Midnight': Patsy Cline, Rose Maphis and
East Coast Country Music"
Kristine M. McCusker, associate professor, Department
of History/ Women's Studies, Middle Tennessee State
"The Early Years: Hard Times and Good Times for Country
Music in 1950s Washington, D.C."
George Hamilton IV, professional musician
"Virginia's Finest" Product Taste Testing in the Museum
3:30-5:00 Session Three - Sound and Image: Varieties of Patsy Cline
"Mixing Styles, Making Styles: Musical Analysis of Patsy
Cline's Nashville Sound"
Jocelyn Neal, assistant professor of history,
University of North Carolina at Durham
"Who's Patsy? Image, Cooptation and the Celebrity
Joli Jensen, Hazel Rogers endowed chair, University
SOURCE Shenandoah University