Patsy Cline (1932-1963) remains one of country music’s most popular performers. Collectors love Patsy, paying big money for autographs, letters, records and other memorabilia.
Image courtesy R&R Auction
The legendary Patsy Cline departed this life in 1963. But 46 years after her untimely death the country music icon is as popular as ever, especially among her legion of die-hard fans and collectors who pursue all matter of artifacts related to her life and career.
Born Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, Patsy Cline was on the country music scene for only a relatively brief time. Her first charted single, “Walkin’ After Midnight,” peaked at #2 on the country charts in 1957. Several years passed before Cline once again hit the big time, scoring with “I Fall to Pieces” (1961, #1), “Crazy” (1961, #2) and “She’s Got You” (1962, #1).
Cline, along with Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and her manager Randy Hughes, was killed in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, while returning from a benefit concert in Kansas. In 1967, Decca Records released Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits, an album which has sold over 10 million copies.
Patsy Cline was elected to Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973.
Patsy Cline began her recording career with Coral Records, a subsidiary of Decca. Her first single, “A Church, A Courtroom and Then Goodbye,” was released on July 20, 1955, as Coral 61464. That was followed by “Hidin’ Out” (Coral 61523, 1955) and “I Love You, Honey” (Coral 61583, 1956).
Collectors love the early Coral releases – both as 45s and 78s – with near mint examples selling for $50 or more.
In 1956, Patsy Cline moved to Decca. Her first single here was “I’ve Loved and Lost Again” (Decca 29963), released on July 8, 1956. Decca continued to release all of Cline’s singles, with the final one, “Crazy Arms” (Decca 25747), coming six years after her death in 1969.
Patsy Cline Decca singles are affordable. A 45 rpm of “Walkin’ After Midnight” (Decca 30221, 1957) is valued at approximately $10 in near mint condition while the rarer 78 rpm version could be worth $30 or more.
Collectors love Patsy Cline’s EPs (extended play) records, which come with handsome picture sleeves. They were released by Coral, Decca and MCA from 1957-89. Expect to pay more for the lone Coral release, Songs by Patsy Cline (EC-81159, 1957).
Cline’s first LP album, Patsy Cline, was released as Decca DL 8611 on August 5, 1957. Her subsequent 1960s albums can also be found on the following labels: Everest, Hilltop, Metro, Vocalion and CBS Musical Treasures.
Sample LP selling prices: That’s How a Heartache Begins (Decca, 1964) at $45 and In Care of the Blues (Hilltop, 1969) at $10.
Patsy Cline autographs represent the holy grail for collectors. Signed photos from the country music siren are expensive, often selling in the $1,000-1,600 range.
Also available are signed contracts. A signed Patsy Cline contract for a 1962 appearance on American Bandstand can command over $1,000.
Handwritten letters are also valuable. A 1957 six-page handwritten letter from Cline to her fan club president Treva Miller sold at auction in 2008 for $2,868.
Check out these selling prices for miscellaneous Patsy Cline memorabilia:
A note of caution: Beware of fake Patsy Cline concert posters, such as the fraudulent March 3, 1963, Kansas City creation/reproduction.
The immortal Patsy Cline…still walkin’ after midnight.