Decades After Her Death, Fans Are Still Crazy About Patsy Cline

Symposium and Concert by Virginia Historical Society and Shenandoah

University Explore Cline's Life and Music

Mar 18, 2008, 01:00 ET from Shenandoah University

    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
 21st centuries.
     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 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
     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
Program 8:30-9:30 Registration 9:30-10:30 Introduction and Keynote "Patsy Cline and a Changing South, from Depression to Postwar Affluence" Bill Malone, author and country music historian 10:30-11:00 Break "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 Community "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 University 12:30-1:30 Lunch 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 University "The Early Years: Hard Times and Good Times for Country Music in 1950s Washington, D.C." George Hamilton IV, professional musician 3:00-3:30 Break "Virginia's Finest" Product Taste Testing in the Museum Shop 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 Process" Joli Jensen, Hazel Rogers endowed chair, University of Tulsa 7:00-9:00 Concert

SOURCE Shenandoah University