Country music has a rich tradition of some of the most amazing voices in music history. Though country music itself dates as far back as the early part of the 20th century, country really found its stride in the 1950s and 1960s. Those artists were some of the greatest influences on country as we know it today, despite the significant evolution country underwent as pop invaded the genre. So in case you thought early country meant Garth Brooks, here’s a little history lesson about the greatest country artists of the 1960s.
6) Patsy Cline
Walk up to almost any jukebox in the world and bets are that you’ll find at least one Patsy Cline song, with “Crazy” being the most likely choice.
Cline had one of the most beautiful, resonant country voices the industry has ever known. Many female artists who followed in her footsteps build on her sound, including Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert.
Patsy Cline exploded onto the music scene with her 1957 hit single, “Walkin’ After Midnight.” She continued to have major success in the early and mid-1960s with hits like “I Fall to Pieces”, “Crazy,” “She’s Got You,” and “Sweet Dreams.” And aside from her hit songs, she also created a legacy with the trails she blazed for women. She was the first female country music artist to headline her own tour. And she also joined the Grand Ole Opry. That in and of itself wasn’t exactly groundbreaking–but the fact that she requested the induction certainly was. No one had made that request prior to her. And she proved herself to be a solid choice, becoming one of their biggest draws.
Sadly, she died on March 5, 1963 in a plane crash in Camden, Tennessee. Her tragic ending only further cemented herself in music history.