The Patsy Cline Historic House, a two-story white house, is now a museum in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia

In honor of Patsy Cline’s 90th birthday

Recognitions in her hometown are a hard-fought triumph

The Patsy Cline Historic House, a two-story white house, is now a museum in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia
Patsy Cline Historic House

Her timeless talent still captivates new generations almost 60 years after her death. But in her long history with the city she claimed as her home and final resting place, some residents once outright refused to honor her legacy.

Fortunately, Patsy’s family and fans are as tenacious as she was. And they made a space for her by gathering yearly to ensure her voice stayed alive long after she died.

Here’s how things have changed in her hometown thanks to their efforts.

Patsy Cline’s short life started in Winchester, Virginia

After becoming Patsy Cline in her first marriage to Gerald Cline in 1953, she began creating a name for herself outside the Winchester area. She and Gerald divorced, but she kept the stage name.

That year, she married Charlie Dick, whom she’d met at a local dance in Winchester. And they had two children before 1961.

Patsy Cline’s tragic death

There used to be a ‘nasty anti-Cline complex’ in Patsy Cline’s hometown

“Cline’s death and surging posthumous fame have done little to dispel the sordid images that linger in Winchester of the rebel without a beehive hairdo,” Dean wrote. “Foul-mouthed lowlife. White trash. Town slut.”

Despite the city’s avoidance of recognizing Patsy, her fans came looking for her, year after year. “The thousands of pilgrims who annually come to Winchester to find their idol’s roots routinely leave disappointed, if not downright angry,” Dean noted, adding, “There’s really nothing much to see.”

“It’s not really an issue people care about,” Winchester Star’s former managing editor Ron Morris said then. “She lived here, she’s buried here, she made some great music — that’s about it.”

How Patsy Cline’s hometown marked 90 years since her birth

Dean disclosed that Patsy’s fan club had already started an annual tradition of meeting in Winchester on Labor Day weekend to celebrate the singer’s birthday in 1995.

Charlie Dick, who died in 2015, told Dean that his late wife was more popular than ever. “A lot of people come to Winchester to find out about Patsy,” he said. “They hear her music, and they want to know where it all came from.”


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