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Learn how Patsy Cline broke social norms in the ’50s


Forced to drop out of school to earn money, Patsy Cline was an incredibly hard worker, holding several jobs as a teenager while also singing with local groups and competing in talent shows. Cline was unafraid of breaking with social norms and walked her own path, wearing men’s pants and bright red lipstick.


[SINGING: Confidentially, how much do you love me?

Well, I thought a while, and then I smiled, and this is what I told him, don't you see...] She did outrageous things, like bright red lipstick.

She wore men's pants, men's Dungarees.

You just didn't do that.

The '50s was very prim, very proper.

She told me that she had had to quit school when she was 16 and then she worked at a meat packing place.

And it was her job to slit the throats of the chickens as they came down the conveyor belt.

That job didn't last, because she was underage.

They found out.

From there she went to the local Greyhound bus station where she cleaned the buses, worked the counter, cleaned the restrooms.

Patsy started working at a local drugstore and would do that during the day, and then at night she would sit in with bands around the area and get a chance to sing.

Dr. Gaunt was very lenient with her, and she - if there was a talent contest during the day, he would let her go.

There were a lot of talent contests then, and she never missed an opportunity to enter any contest.

She never won.

The first time I met Patsy, Connie B. Gay brought her into a club I was working in Washington D.C. called The Famous, and we'd all heard about this girl singer that was working with Bill Peer, Ronnie Winchester, and stuff.

By her 20th birthday, Jenny leaves her day job and joins up with Bill Peer and the Melody Boys, playing regular dates in halls and clubsand makes local TV appearances.


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