Patsy Cline

Walkin' After Midnight

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 MCA Nashville 2:35
Patsy Cline Showcase 1961 MCA 2:00
The Patsy Cline Story 1963 MCA 1:58
Showcase 1967 Geffen 2:00
Remembering [MCA] 1976 MCA 2:02
Country Highway [Wisepack] 1984
Various Artists
Wisepack 2:35
Sweet Dreams 1985 MCA 2:01
Country's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 1986
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 2:01
Country U.S.A.: 1957 1988
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Her First Recordings, Vol. 1: Walkin' Dreams 1989 Rhino
No Image 1990 MCA
Country Music Classics, Vol. 1 (1950's) 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:32
Walkin' After Midnight [LaserLight] 1991 Laserlight 2:36
Best of Patsy Cline [Curb] 1991 Curb 2:31
Forever & Always 1992 Epic
Country Spotlight [Dominion] 1993 Dominion 2:31
Walkin' After Midnight [Rhino] 1993 Rhino 2:33
No Image 1994 Deluxe 2:36
Golden Classics 1994 Collectables
Bet Your Country on It 1994
Various Artists
Drive Archive 2:33
Back to Back [K-Tel] 1995 K-Tel Distribution 2:36
Global Divas 1995
Various Artists
Rounder 2:32
No Image 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:32
No Image 1995 Prism Entertainment
All Star Country Dance 1996
Various Artists
Compose Records / Peter Pan (ISP) 2:32
Walk the Line [K-Tel] 1996
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:03
Sincerely Yours 1996 Prime Cuts 2:32
Golden Hits 1996 Intercontinental Records 2:33
Country Legends [Intersound] 1996
Various Artists
Intersound 2:38
The Hit Box 1 1996
Various Artists
United Multi Consign 2:32
Heroes of Country Music, Vol. 3: Legends of Nashville 1996
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Bros.
The Very Best of Patsy Cline 1996 MCA Nashville / Universal 2:34
No Image 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 Records
The Essential Patsy Cline [RCA] 1997 RCA 2:34
Country Classics, Vol. 1: Honky Tonk Angels 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:33
Crazy Dreams: The Classic Early Years 1997 Music Club Records 2:33
Best of Patsy Cline [Madacy] 1997 Madacy 2:38
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 Collection [Emporio] 1997
Various Artists
Emporio 2:33
50's Flashback 1998
Various Artists
Double Play Records 2:36
No Image 1998 Crimson Productions 2:35
Through the Eyes of Patsy Cline 1998 Recall (UK) 2:36
More Original Jukebox Hits 1998
Various Artists
Empire Super Doubles 2:34
Walkin' After Midnight: The Very Best of Patsy Cline 1998 Collectables 2:33
At Her Best [Boxsets] 1998 St. Clair / Boxsets 2:32
Patsy Cline's 4 Star Recordings 1998 Country Stars 2:34
20th Century Country, Vol. 1: Country Classics - Honky Tonk Angels 1998
Various Artists
Dominion 2:33
Immortal Patsy Cline 1999 Unison 2:35
Today, Tomorrow & Forever [Cleopatra] 1999 Cleopatra 2:34
Volume 1: Walking After Midnight 1999 Platinum Disc 2:35
Country Music Hall of Fame 1973 1999 King 2:36
No Image 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
Respect: A Century of Women in Music 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
4 Country Legends 1999
Various Artists
Double Play Records 2:35
Millennium Box Set 1999
Various Artists
Disky 2:35
Classic Country: 1950-1964 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 2:36
Country: The Life, Times & Music Series 1999
Various Artists
Friedman Fairgfax 2:34
Come on In 2000 Legacy 2:37
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
Branded Country: Country Round Up 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:40
Country Gold: Today and Forever 2000 Direct Source 2:35
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 St. Clair 2:34
Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes 2000
Various Artists
CD Double Play / IRC / 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
100 Country Greats 2000
Various Artists
Import 2:36
The Ultimate Collection [UTV] 2000 Hip-O / UTV 2:35
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 0:00
Patsy Cline: Unforgettable Classics 2001 St. Clair 2:35
Legends Collection, Vol. 1 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 Magnum 2:34
Essential Collection [Polygram] 2001 Spectrum Music 2:36
Patsy Cline: 20 Great Hits 2001 Platinum Disc 2:37
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly of Country 2001
Various Artists
METRODOME 2:37
Country's Greatest [Echo Bridge] 2001
Various Artists
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment 2:36
Country Queens [Boxsets] 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:34
The Very Best of Country Legends [United] 2002
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Multimedia 2:31
The Great Patsy Cline 2002 Red X 2:35
Great Country Legends [Castle] 2002
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 2:35
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
Ladies of Country: Gold Collection 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:37
The Legend 2002 Park South Records / Orpheus Records 2:32
Patsy Cline: The Collection 2002 Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:34
The Legends Collection: The Great American Hall of Fame 2002
Various Artists
Legends Collection 2:32
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
Walking Dream 2002 Magnum 2:34
Country Lovin' [Delta] 2002
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:32
David Allan Coe Presents Patsy Cline 2002 Coe Pop Records 2:38
Sound of Country 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 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
Country Favorites [Madacy Box 2003] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:38
Jukebox Hits, Vol. 3 2003
Various Artists
United Multi License 2:34
Walkin' After Midnight [Northquest ] 2003 NorthQuest 2:38
Walkin' After Midnight: The Original Sessions, Vol. 1 2003 Dualtone Music 2:35
Classic American Voices 2003 Direct Source 2:35
Country Heaven 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:35
No Image 2003 American Legends 2:35
Women & Songs: Beginnings 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 2:01
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
101 Country and Western Greats 2003
Various Artists
Fabulous 2:37
Elite Divas 2003
Various Artists
Import 2:33
The 20 Most Requested 2003 Festival Records 2:34
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
No Image 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
Timeless Classics 2004 St. Clair 2:35
Country Girls on Western Ranch Party 1957-60 2004
Various Artists
Country Routes (UK) 2:56
David Allan Coe Presents...My Favorite Singers, Vol. 1 2004 Coe Pop Records 2:34
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 2:47
Golden Legends 2004 Madacy 2:37
The Best of Patsy Cline [St. Clair] 2004 St. Clair / Essential Records 2:31
Collector's Edition [Disc 1] 2004 Madacy 2:38
Greatest Women of Country Music 2005
Various Artists
King 2:35
Gold 2005 MCA Nashville 2:35
Country: The Essential Album 2005
Various Artists
Essential Records 2:32
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:30
Rock N Roll Diner 2005
Various Artists
Metro 2:33
Easyacoustic 2005
Various Artists
Easy Records / Union Square Music 2:33
Solid Gold Country [Union Square] 2005
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:32
Moments & Memories: The Solid Gold Collection 2005
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:33
Revisited 2006 Compendia Music Group / Intersound / Compendia 2:35
Hall of Fame 2006 Federal Records 2:34
Best of Patsy Cline [Platinum Disc] 2006 Platinum Disc 2:36
This Is Country [Cleopatra/Goldenlane] 2006
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane 2:36
Divine Goddesses: Music with a Twist 2006
Various Artists
Deluxe Holland 2:32
Country Classics [Ground Floor] 2006
Various Artists
Ground Floor 2:35
Acoustic Woman 2006
Various Artists
Metro 2:34
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
Love Songs: The Solid Gold Collection 2006
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:34
Queens of Country: Love Songs 2007
Various Artists
Laserlight 2:37
This Is Country Superstars 2007
Various Artists
Cleopatra / Goldenlane 2:37
The Best of Anthology 2007 Cleopatra 2:32
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Patsy Cline, Vol. 2 2007 UMVD 2:33
Patsy Cline [Madacy 2007] 2007 Madacy 2:36
Patsy Cline [Madacy 2007/3 CD] 2007 Madacy 2:37
Greatest Country Hits of 1957 2008
Various Artists
Acrobat Music 2:34
Showcase/Sentimentally Yours 2008 Beat Goes On 2:36
Best of Patsy Cline: Green Series 2008 Universal Distribution 2:33
Stop, Look and Listen [Bear Family] 2008 Bear Family Records
Country Love [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:37
Country Favorites [Madacy 2008] 2008
Various Artists
Madacy 2:37
The Intro Collection: Country 2008
Various Artists
Union Square Music 2:32
Country Greats [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:33
Country Greats: I Walk the Line 2009
Various Artists
2:33
The Only Classic Country Collection You'll Ever Need 2010
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:32
Icon 2 2010 MCA Nashville 1:58
Sweet Dreams: Her Complete Decca Masters (1960-1963) 2010 Geffen / Hip-O Select / MCA Nashville 2:00
Across the Airwaves 2011 Chrome Dreams / United States of Distribution 2:36
On the Air: Her Greatest TV Performances 2012 Hip-O 2:03
The Complete Releases 1955-1962 2017 Acrobat Music 2:35
Hits & Hymns 2019 Spring House 2:00
No Image
Various Artists
Artistic
Crazy: The Collection Music Club Deluxe 1:58
No Image
Various Artists
Time / Life Music / WEA