American Masters

Alan Stoker shares some insight on Patsy Cline’s studio work and the gift of her voice.


If Patsy were here right now, what would I say to her? How did you learn how to sing like that? I mean, I know what it was - it was a gift from God. It had to be.

And you can tell that she knew that. She loved singing. You can tell by listening to her sing, it was something that she loved to do. And she progressed from the early days through the end days. She got better as a singer throughout that whole time - she got more friendly, more comfortable in the studio. Singing in the studio is a lot different than singing on stage - my dad told me that singing in the studio, it's like the listeners ear is right here, and you have to really be careful with how loud you're singing and what your phrasing is, whereas live in performance you're really trying to project to the entire audience. And I don't think Patsy necessarily felt comfortable in the studio. I'm not sure, but at least when you listen to her on the ballads, I don't think early on she was very comfortable singing ballads. She certainly liked to sing the up tempo numbers, you know, and she loved to yodel, and she loved to do the big Broadway show type endings at the end of a song. You know that didn't fit every song that she did necessarily.

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