She's Got You

Patsy Cline

Song Review by Bill Janovitz

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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Billboard Top Country Hits: 1962 1962
Various Artists
Sentimentally Yours 1962 MCA 2:49
The Patsy Cline Story 1963 MCA 2:58
Greatest Hits: Jim Reeves & Patsy Cline 1967 RCA 2:58
Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits 1967 Apo / Universal 3:01
Heartaches [Universal] 1985 Universal Special Products 2:58
Sweet Dreams 1985 MCA 2:58
Sweet Dreams [Video] 1985
Various Artists
HBO / Cannon
Sweet Dreams: The Life and Times of Patsy Cline 1986
Original Soundtrack
12 Greatest Hits 1988 MCA / Universal 3:01
Country U.S.A.: 1962 1988
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Patsy Cline Showcase/Sentimentally Yours 1990 MCA
The Patsy Cline Collection [MCA] 1991 MCA 3:07
...And the Answer Is: Great Country Answer Discs from '60s, Vol. 3 1994
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 3:01
The Very Best of Patsy Cline [MCA] 1996 MCA Nashville / Universal 3:07
Trucker's Jukebox, Vol. 4 [Universal] 1996
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:58
Double Barrel Country 1999 Madacy 3:03
Classic Country: Golden '60s 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:02
The Ultimate Collection [UTV] 2000 Hip-O / UTV 3:00
Best of Country [GNP Crescendo] 2000
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 2:58
Essential Collection [Polygram] 2001 Spectrum Music 3:02
The Definitive Collection 2004 MCA Nashville 2:59
Gold 2005 MCA Nashville 3:00
Anytime 2005 Universal Special Products 3:01
Sings Songs of Love/Anytime/Collector's Edition 2005 Madacy / Universal Special Products 3:01
#1 Country Hits of the 60s [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 2:59
The Ultimate Collection [Madacy] 2006 Madacy 3:01
#1 Country Hits [2006 Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:59
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Patsy Cline, Vol. 2 2007 UMVD 3:00
Showcase/Sentimentally Yours 2008 Beat Goes On 3:03
The Golden Age of American Popular Music: The Country Hits 2008
Various Artists
Best of Patsy Cline: Green Series 2008 Universal Distribution 3:00
RX for Lonely Housewives & Desperate Lovers 2008
Various Artists
Golden Music
Icon 2010 MCA Nashville 2:58
Icon 2 2010 MCA Nashville 2:58
Sweet Dreams: Her Complete Decca Masters (1960-1963) 2010 Geffen / Hip-O Select / MCA Nashville 3:00
Across the Airwaves 2011 Chrome Dreams / United States of Distribution 2:43
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Hillbilly Music: 1962 2011
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 3:00
On the Air: Her Greatest TV Performances 2012 Hip-O 2:46
The 1962 British Hit Parade, Pt. 1: January-May [Acrobat] 2013
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:57
San Antonio Rose 2013 Sound and Vision 3:00
Girls of the '60s: Dedicated to the One I Love 2013
Various Artists
Dynamic 3:00
The Complete Releases 1955-1962 2017 Acrobat Music 3:00
Stranger Things: Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series, Season 3 2019
Various Artists
Legacy / Sony Music 2:58
50s Songs [Universal]
Various Artists
Universal 2:58
Country Women
Various Artists
Universal 2:58
Easy Listening Classics: Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time Life / Time / Life Music 3:01
Stranger Things Can Happen
Various Artists
Universal 2:58
The Greatest Country Hits of 1962
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:59
Time Life: '60s Country
Various Artists
Time Life 3:01
Viaje A 1962
Various Artists
Universal 2:58
Éxitos Estrella de los 60's, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Universal 2:58