“Showcase” by Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1961Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

It was the strangest darn thing that Patsy Cline had released almost 20 singles between 1955 and 1960 but had only ever charted, in either of the Country or Billboard charts, with 1957’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”. Things had to change. In 1959 Cline met Randy Hughes, a session guitarist and promotion man. Hughes became her manager and helped her change labels. When her Four Star contract expired in 1960, she signed with Decca Records-Nashville, directly under the direction of legendary female-singer country music producer Owen Bradley, who had been previously been “sub-contracted” in for her debut LP way back in 1957. He was responsible for much of Cline’s success from hereon and positively influenced the careers of both Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn. Even though she was still scared of the lush Nashville Sound arrangements, Bradley considered Cline’s voice best-suited for country pop-crossover songs. Bradley’s direction and arrangements helped smooth her voice into the silky, torch song style for which she won fame.

By a strange co-incidence, it would, once again, be a “reject song” (following in the storyline footsteps of 1957’s “Walkin’ After Midnight”) which would kick-start Patsy’s career, this time with the sublime, career defining “I Fall To Pieces”. Harlan Howard pitched the song to Bradley, who tried to find the right artist to record it. His first preference had been for Brenda Lee, but she found the song “too country” for her pop style. Bradley then asked rising country star Roy Drusky to record it, but he turned it down stating that “it’s not a man’s song”. Patsy Cline, who overheard Drusky’s argument with Bradley about the song, asked if she could record it instead. Bradley accepted her offer. When Cline began recording the song in November 1960, she had second thoughts after she discovered popular Nashville session group, The Jordanaires would serve as the background vocalists. Cline was afraid the Jordanaires would drown her sound out and as a result, she was not very friendly upon meeting them. Cline also felt that the Pop ballad style Bradley wanted it recorded in didn’t suit her own style. Bradley was trying to make the song appeal to the Pop market, an idea that was not well liked by Cline. She had several arguments with Bradley, however the end result was that Cline went along with the producer’s wishes. After listening to the playback of “I Fall To Pieces”, she had fully came around to his way of thinking, later stating that “with “I Fall To Pieces” I felt that I had finally found my own identity”. The song was well promoted and won success on both country and pop music stations. On the country charts, the song slowly climbed to the top, garnering her first Number One ranking. In a major feat for country singers at the time, the song hit No. 12 on the pop and No. 6 on the adult contemporary charts, making her a household name and demonstrating that women could indeed achieve as much crossover success as men.

This would be the first of 7 Billboard Pop hits in a row, including the follow up smash hit “Crazy”, written for her by Willie Nelson. Both songs were included here on “Showcase”, released in time for the lucrative Christmas market in November 1961. The album generally played safe and included many cover versions of previously recorded hits on the country and pop charts including pop singer Gogi Grant’s “The Wayward Wind”, Bonnie Lou’s “Seven Lonely Days”, Cole Porter’s “True Love” and Bob Wills’s “San Antonio Rose”. In addition, Cline recorded remakes of her 1957 hit sides, “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “A Poor Man’s Roses (Or a Rich Man’s Gold)”, the former of which pales in comparison to its 1957 original. Label pressure compromise doesn’t always work out…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:47] 10.0.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - I Fall To Pieces (Hank Cochran, Harlan Howard) Country
A2 [02:12] 6.4.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - Foolin’ ‘Round (Harlan Howard, Buck Owens) Pop
A3 [03:15] 5.8.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - The Wayward Wind (Stan Lebowsky, Herb Newman) Country
A4 [02:25] 5.2.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - South Of The Border (Down Mexico Way) (Jimmy Kennedy, Michael Carr) Pop Ballad
A5 [02:11] 5.4.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - I Love You So Much It Hurts (Floyd Tillman) Country
A6 [02:05] 7.3.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - Seven Lonely Days (Earl Shuman, Alden Shuman, Marshall Brown) Country
B1 [02:41] 8.1.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - Crazy (Willie Nelson) Country
B2 [02:13] 5.0.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - San Antonio Rose (Bob Wills) Country
B3 [02:06] 5.5.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - True Love (Cole Porter) Pop Ballad
B4 [02:00] 7.2.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - Walkin’ After Midnight [1961] (Don Hecht, Alan Block) Country
B5 [02:30] 7.5.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - A Poor Man’s Roses (Or A Rich Man’s Gold) (Bob Hilliard, Milton DeLugg) Country
B6 [02:10] 7.5.png Patsy Cline with The Jordanaires - Have You Ever Been Lonely (Have You Ever Been Blue) (Peter DeRose, George Brown) Country

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