Patsy Cline

Walkin' After Midnight

Composed by Alan Block / Don Hecht

Song Review by

"Walkin' After Midnight" was Patsy Cline's first hit, and indeed her only hit prior to 1961, making the Top Twenty of the pop charts in 1957. Like much of her output, "Walkin' After Midnight" might have been country-pop, but there was a lot of country in the tune, starting with the catchy steel guitar riff that introduced the track. It also had a bouncy beat, somewhere between a steady walk and a slow run, that while far from rockabilly was a little funkier and more solid than much country of the time. While Cline's vocal is a little restrained in comparison with the approach she used on her better-known sides in the early 1960s, it's well-suited for the almost bemused aura of loneliness of the lyric. More than any of the other songs she recorded for the 4 Star label in the 1950s, it anticipates the successful country-pop fusion of her crossover hits for Decca in the early 1960s. Cline would in fact remake the song in 1961 for Decca, in a version that dispensed with the prominent steel guitar of the original and added countrypolitan backup vocals and piano, as well as an upwards key change for the last verse. Both versions are worthy, and because Cline's '60s material is in general far better circulated and represented on best-of compilations than her '50s releases, it may be that the 1961 remake is now more familiar than the initial rendition. Live recordings of the song have also come out on Cline's Live at the Opry (from 1957) and Live at the Cimarron Ballroom from 1961. The Cowboy Junkies, Loretta Lynn, Fairground Attraction, Katy Moffatt, and Bryan Adams are among the more prominent artists who have covered the tune.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Patsy Cline [MCA] 1957 Decca
Patsy Cline Showcase 1961 MCA 2:00
The Patsy Cline Story 1963 MCA 1:58
No Image 1985
Various Artists
HBO/Cannon
Country's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1986
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 2:01
The Legendary 1988 Pair
Her First Recordings, Vol. 1: Walkin' Dreams 1989 Traditional Line
Country Music Classics, Vol. 1 (1950's) 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:32
Walkin' After Midnight [LaserLight] 1991 Laserlight 2:36
The Patsy Cline Collection [MCA] 1991 MCA 2:33
Country Spotlight [Dominion] 1993 Dominion 2:31
Walkin' After Midnight [Rhino] 1993 Flashback Records 2:34
Late and Great Patsy Cline & Dottie West: 16 Greats 1994 Deluxe 2:36
Golden Classics 1994 Collectables
Loved and Lost 1994 Drive Archive 2:34
Back to Back [K-Tel] 1995 K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Global Divas 1995
Various Artists
Rounder 2:32
Only Country 1955-1959 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:32
Touch This Country 1995
Various Artists
Drive Archive 2:33
Gold Collection Artists, Vol. 2 1996
Various Artists
King / King 2:35
Walk the Line [K-Tel] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:03
Sincerely Yours 1996 St. Clair 2:32
Golden Hits 1996 ITC Masters 2:33
Country Legends [Intersound] 1996
Various Artists
Intersound 2:38
Walkin' After Midnight [Delta 19 Track] 1996 Delta / Delta Distribution / Mbop Global 2:30
The Hit Box 1 1996
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:32
The Birth of a Star 1996 Razor & Tie 2:00
American Legends 1996 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:37
Walking After Midnight [Kingfisher] 1996 Kingfisher Records 2:33
Critique Country Classics Collection, Vol. 1 1996 Critique Records 2:35
Forever [Simitar] 1996 Simitar Distribution
Double Gold Hits, Vol. 5 1996
Various Artists
Public Music
Crazy Dreams: The Four Star Years 1996 Sundown/Magnum Records / Sundown
The Essential Patsy Cline [RCA] 1997 RCA 2:34
Best of Patsy Cline [Madacy] 1997 Madacy 2:38
Live at the Cimarron Ballroom 1997 MCA 2:31
Rock n' Roll Reunion: Class of 57 1997
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:41
Pure Country: 50's Superstars 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:31
Legends of Country Music [Universal] 1997
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 1:59
The Essential Country Greats 1997
Various Artists
Emporio 2:33
Very Best of Country [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:33
Through the Eyes of Patsy Cline 1998 Recall (UK) 2:36
Live Broadcasts 1998 CEMA Special Markets 3:21
Super Sellers of the 50's 1998
Various Artists
Empire Super Doubles 2:35
Walkin' After Midnight: The Very Best of Patsy Cline 1998 Collectables 2:33
At Her Best [Boxsets] 1998 St. Clair / Boxsets 2:32
Immortal Patsy Cline 1999 Unison 2:35
Today, Tomorrow & Forever [Cleopatra] 1999 Cleopatra 2:34
Collection [Madacy] 1999 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:37
Volume 2: Legendary Patsy 1999 E Squared
Country Music Hall of Fame 1973 1999 Federal Records 2:33
Country's Super Ladies 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
The Divas of the Millennium 1999
Various Artists
WMO (Netherlands) / Allegiance Records 2:33
Intimate Portrait: Women of Country 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:36
Forever Gold 1999 St. Clair 2:33
Double Barrel Country 1999 Madacy 2:36
Country Ladies [Goldies] 1999
Various Artists
Goldies 2:34
Great Voices of the Millennium 1999
Various Artists
Double Gold 2:34
Universal Masters Collection 1999 Polygram / Universal Distribution 1:59
Country: The Life, Times & Music Series 1999
Various Artists
Friedman Fairgfax 2:33
The Greatest Women of the Country 2000
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:40
Now That's Country, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Music Mill 2:34
Grand Ole Country Collection 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 2:32
With Love 2000 Dressed To Kill 2:34
70 Ounces of Gold: Classic Gold 2000
Various Artists
Compose Records 2:33
Walkin' After Midnight: The Best of Patsy Cline [BMG] 2000 Buddha Records / 7-N 2:35
This Is Country: Country Nights 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:36
The Best of Patsy Cline: Walkin' After Midnight 2000 Delta Distribution 2:35
Country Queens [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:38
The Best of Dueling Country 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:34
The Best of Country Gold [Direct Source Box Set #2] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:35
Good Old Country 2000 Country Legends 2:34
Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes 2000
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 2:35
Patsy Cline [Legend] 2000 Delta Distribution / Legend 2:33
25 All-Time Greatest Recordings: The 4-Star Sessions 1955-1960 2000 Varèse Vintage / Varese 2:35
History of Country Music: Country Legends 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:35
Grand Ole Opry 75th Anniversary, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
MCA Nashville / MCA 2:02
Crazy 2000 Golden Stars 2:34
Forever Gold (Walking After Midnight/Sincerely Yours) [Box] 2000 St. Clair 2:32
Let the Teardrops Fall [Planet Media] 2000 Planet Media / Planet 2:33
Today, Tomorrow & Forever [Sony] 2000 Madacy 2:34
20 Golden Hits [TeeVee] 2001 Teevee Records 2:34
The Legends Collection 2001 Dressed To Kill 2:34
Classic Hits of Country 2001
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:33
Very Best of Patsy Cline [BMG International] 2001 Pulse 2:36
Too Many Secrets 2001 Starburst Records (UK)
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Country 2001
Various Artists
METRODOME 2:37
The Good 2001
Various Artists
METRODOME 2:37
Country Superstars, Vol. 1 [Columbia River #2] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:39
The Very Best of Country Legends [United] 2002
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Multimedia 2:31
The Great Patsy Cline 2002 404 Music Group
Stars of Country [Columbia River] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 2:39
Women of Country [Mastersong 2002] 2002
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group / Mastersong 2:39
The Legend 2002 Park South Records / Orpheus Records 2:32
Patsy Cline: The Collection 2002 Madacy 2:36
Patsy Cline: Walkin' After Midnight 2002 Delta 2:33
Totally Classic Country, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande / Varèse Vintage 2:35
Walkin' After Midnight [MasterSong] 2002 Columbia River Entertainment Group / Mastersong 2:37
At Her Very Best 2002 Hollywood 2:33
Country Lovin' [Delta] 2002
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:32
David Allan Coe Presents Patsy Cline 2002 Coe Pop Records 2:38
Patsy Cline Forever 2003 Direct Source 2:35
Patsy Cline [BCI Box Set] 2003 BCI-Eclipse Distribution / BCI Music (Brentwood Communication) 2:36
Country 2003 Music Mill 2:34
Classic Masters 2003 Capitol/The Right Stuff 2:33
Country's Greatest [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:36
Walkin' After Midnight [Northquest ] 2003 NorthQuest 2:38
Walkin' After Midnight: The Original Sessions, Vol. 1 2003 Dualtone Music 2:35
Country Heaven 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:35
Country Sweetheart 2003 American Legends 2:35
Women & Songs: Beginnings 2003
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
Patsy Cline [2003] 2003 Reader's Digest Music 2:33
I'm Blue Again 2003 Fabulous 2:37
Remembering [Direct Source] 2003 Direct Source 2:37
The Heart of a Legend 2003 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:38
Elite Divas 2003
Various Artists
Import 2:33
The 20 Most Requested 2003 Festival Records 2:34
The Definitive Patsy Cline: 1932-1963 2003 MCA
Divas, Vol. 2 [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd. 2:33
Walkin' After Midnight [Goldies Box Set] 2004 Goldies 2:34
Best of Patsy Cline [Readers Digest] 2004 Reader's Digest Music 2:36
The World's Greatest Shania Twain Tribute 2004
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 2:45
Collector's Edition 2004 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:38
The Great Country Collection 2004
Various Artists
Red X 2:34
Country Singer 2004
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:38
20 Best of Patsy Cline 2004 Madacy 2:36
The Essential First Recordings 2004 Varèse Sarabande / Varese 2:35
The Definitive Collection 2004 MCA Nashville 2:35
No Image 2004
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 2:35
Timeless Classics 2004 St. Clair 2:35
Country Girls on Western Ranch Party 1957-60 2004
Various Artists
Country Routes (UK) 2:56
Walkin' After Midnight [Brentwood] 2004 BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Brentwood Records 2:37
A Tribute to Gretchen Wilson 2004
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 2:47
Country Collection: Patsy & Janie 2004 Performax
The Best of Patsy Cline [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair / Essential Records 2:31
Fingerprints 2004 Mojo Music (Independent) 2:32
The Best of Patsy Cline [St. Clair 2 Disc] 2005 St. Clair 2:32
Gold 2005 MCA Nashville 2:35
Country: The Essential Album 2005
Various Artists
Essential Records 2:32
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Disky
Country Ladies [K-Tel Box Set] 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Pick Me Up on Your Way Down 2005 CBUJ Distribution 2:36
Roots of Country Music 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:30
Best of Country Greats: The Ladies 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair / St. Clair/Essentials 2:37
Country Legends: Patsy Cline I Can't Forget You 2005 Brentwood Records 2:36
Walking and Dreaming 2005 Masked Weasel 2:37
Honky Tonk Angel [American Legends] 2005 American Legends 2:35
Sweet Dreams Still: The Anthology 2005 MPI Home Video
The Best of Country Girls 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:36
Greatest Country Music Collection Ever 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:36
No Image 2005 Timeless Treasures
K-Tel Presents: Country Gals 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution / Brentwood/K-Tel 2:38
Revisited 2006 Compendia Music Group / Intersound/Compendia 2:35
Happiest Girl In The Whole USA 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:36
Hall of Fame 2006 Federal Records 2:34
The Vinyl Collection: Country Ladies [St. Clair] 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:37
Country Music Legends [Cbuj Ent] 2006 CBUJ Distribution 2:33
Country Hit Parade: Country Ladies Step Out 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:36
Divine Goddesses: Music with a Twist 2006
Various Artists
Deluxe Holland 2:32
Walkin After Midnight [Cbuj Ent] 2006 CBUJ Distribution 2:35
Karaoke: Forever Country 2006
Karaoke
Forever Hits 2:47
The Ultimate Collection [Madacy] 2006 Madacy 2:35
18 Greatest 2006 Direct Source 2:35
Best of Country [Madacy 4-CD] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:36
Sweet Dreams: The Four Star Recordings 1955-1960 2006 DBK Works 2:37
Forever Country [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:36
Legends of Country: Classic Hits from the '50s, '60s & '70s 2006
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:35
The Man from Left Field [DVD/CD] 2006
Various Artists
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2:36
The Very Best of Patsy Cline [Collectables] 2007 Collectables 2:36
This Is Country Superstars 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane 2:37
Music for Moms: Smooth and Easy Country Hits 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:37
The Best of Anthology 2007 Cleopatra 2:32
Best of Hits 2008 St. Clair 2:36
Stop, Look and Listen [Bear Family] 2008 Bear Family Records 2:34
The First Ladies of Country [Metro] 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music
Vintage Country: The Golden Age of Country Music 2008
Various Artists
Hear Music / Sony BMG 2:33
No Image
Various Artists
Artistic
blue highlight denotes editor's pick