Patsy Cline

How a car crash nearly ended Patsy Cline’s career

At 29 years old, with a successful career and several hits climbing the charts, Patsy Cline was almost killed in a head-on car collision. Permanent scarring and chronic pain could’ve ended the young musician’s career, but Cline refused to let it slow her down. Six weeks after the accident, still on crutches, she appeared on the Grand Ol’ Opry’s stage to perform her biggest hit yet: Crazy.

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932-March 5, 1963) defined modern country music by using her singular talent and heart‐wrenching emotional depth to break down barriers of gender, class and genre. In her music and her life, she set a standard of authenticity towards which artists still strive. After years of hard work to overcome industry gender biases and her own personal hardships and professional missteps, she achieved success, only to have it punctured by uncanny premonitions and her untimely death at age 30. The new documentary Patsy Cline: American Masters premieres nationwide beginning March 4 on PBS (check local listings) during Women’s History Month as part of the 31st season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series. 2017 marks the 85th anniversary of Cline’s birth.