Written by Country Music Hall of Fame songwriter Hank Cochran, "She's Got You" is a classic countrypolitan tear-jerker. The song went to number one for Patsy Cline and almost cracked the Top Ten pop chart, a crossover hit that encompassed country as well as vocal jazz elements. The earliest album release of the song was on Sentimentally Yours in 1962. There are few voices more capable of expressing heartache than Cline's. She eases into "She's Got You" slyly, listing the material possessions she has to remind her of her ex, "I've got your picture that you gave to me/And it's signed with love, just like it used to be," winding herself up a little on "the only thing different, the only thing new," only to hit the listener softly again with the song's kicker, "I've got your picture, she's got you." Cline works it up again for the chorus, the climax of the song. The way she pauses between "it" and "got" on the line "I've got your memory, or has it got me?" alone demonstrates her stature as a masterful interpreter on par with the best in pop, Frank Sinatra and Aretha Franklin included. The underlying element of all these singers is the amount of soul each of them pours into the songs they sing; they inhabit their songs. And Cline seemed to live her art; her voice and her phrasing ache like Etta James. "She's Got You" is one of those classic songs -- of a certain formula, to be sure -- that could easily be a jazz, R&B, soul, or country song, depending on the interpretation and arrangement.
Cline's recording seems to span all of the above. This is due in no small part to the help of her legendary producer, Owen Bradley, who also fostered crossover hits for Brenda Lee and Eddy Arnold, among others. Bradley drew from some of the best musicians in Nashville, like instantly identifiable pianist Floyd Cramer and backup singers the Jordanaires (all of whom went on to record on some of Elvis Presley's biggest hits); these were musicians who did not recognize boundaries between country, pop, etc. The smooth and sophisticated sounds that resulted from such sessions epitomize the exuberant early days of rock & roll, the days before compartmentalization and classification. Cochran was just 27 when Cline scored her hit with "She's Got You," but had already enjoyed success the year before with Cline's version of another of his classics, "I Fall to Pieces." It was just this sort of well-written and mature material that Bradley had in mind when he took Cline under his wing. The following year, 1963, Ray Price would have a hit with Cochran's "Make the World Go Away," and Cochran teamed up with Bradley and Arnold to record the smash hit version of the same song.
Loretta Lynn recorded a version of "She's Got You" as a tribute to her friend Cline on I Remember Patsy (1977), but she sounds lost with the song. While Lynn's voice sounds magnificent as usual, she does not seem to know what to do with the phrasing, torn between her own inclinations and Cline's archetypal style. Instead of cutting her own straighter, honky tonk version, the Coal Miner's Daughter ends up sounding like someone reading the lyrics off a karaoke teleprompter. Leanne Rimes, the late '90's own "Little Miss Dynamite," gave "She's Got You" a good go, but the arrangement is intrusively syrupy -- swimming in all kinds of digital reverbs and delays and intruding on her remarkable voice. And Rimes herself sticks a little too close to the Cline blueprint without yet possessing the inherent heartbreaking quality in her voice.