Patsy Cline

The Birth of a Star

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Although Cline only had one hit in the late '50s ("Walking After Midnight"), she managed to appear on Arthur Godfrey's popular network television show several times in 1957-58. This disc presents 17 performances that she delivered on these programs (including two versions of "Walking After Midnight"), accompanied by Godfrey's house band. In truth, this isn't the best context in which to hear Cline. It's far more pop than country in orientation, especially given the mainstream flavor of her accompanists, whose arrangements were far from rootsy and could be downright square, especially with the frequent interjections of brass and clarinet. Cline herself had yet to reach her vocal peak, but she does project with assurance on this material, most of which was issued in the late '50s on her official (and better) studio recordings. It's not one of the first Cline albums that should be added to your collection, but it's certainly of considerable interest to serious Cline fans, with versions of "Your Cheatin' Heart" and the spirituals "Down by the Riverside" and "The Man Upstairs" rating as the most unusual items.

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