The Home of Singer Patsy Cline

The city of Winchester, Virginia, has many historic sites. The city exchanged hands 17 times during the Civil War, being in a strategic location during the Shenandoah Campaign. Residents of this City are proud to point out that their town is known as the Apple Capital of the World. But they are equally proud that Winchester was where world-famous country music singer Patsy Cline was born on September 8, 1932 and was buried in 1963 at the age of 30.

During the summer of 2009, I was in Winchester and made an effort to find the house where Patsy Cline grew up. It was located at 608 South Kent Street. (see photo) To the left of the house is a historical marker which reads in part….
On 21 Jan. 1957 she won Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts national television show’s competition, singing “Walkin’ After Midnight.” In 1961 “I fall to Pieces” became a hit. Her iconic “Crazy” was released a year later. Her haunting voice took her to the top, and her style and popularity have never waned. She died in an airplane crash on 5 Mar. 1963 in Camden, Tennessee. In 1973, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

It is interesting to note that a bell tower has been erected in her memory at the Shenandoah Memorial Park, where Patsy Cline is interred. Several Highways, including the Patsy Cline Memorial Highway, Route 522, and Patsy Cline Boulevard in Winchester, have been named to commemorate her life. When I visited her grave, I had to wait to take a photo until several of Patsy’s old fans had finished paying their respects. There are still many people who remember her haunting voice and come to the Shenandoah Memorial Park to morn her tragic death 46 years ago.

It was no surprised that the old silver diner in Winchester where I stopped for lunch only played Patsy’s songs on its juke box. It was there that the short-order cook gave me directions to find Patsy Cline’s grave.