Talk about a true friend.
And actually, they were born just five months apart in 1932, though Patsy was certainly the more established artist in the early 60’s.
Upon hearing Loretta dedicate a 1961 radio performance of her song “I Fall to Pieces” to her when she was recovering from a near-fatal car accident, Patsy summoned her to the hospital so they could meet face to face.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Loretta even named one of her twin daughters Patsy the year after Cline tragically passed away in a plane crash in 1963, and in her 2020 book Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust, she explained why they had such a deep and easy connection:
“Did I know meeting Patsy that day would change my life? No. How could I?
But I knew I’d found a real friend: a great singer, a proud momma, a woman who wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself.”
Clearly, they were two of a kind.
Patsy taught Loretta, who had come from the hollers and hills of eastern Kentucky, how to drive, shave her legs, encouraged her to wear makeup on stage, and even advised her to wear the now-iconic long, sparkly gowns Loretta became known for.
She also told her about the “dirty old men” who lurked in Music City back then (and still do to a lesser extent), saying:
“You gotta set them straight, little gal. Show them you don’t go for that kind of thing.”
And not only did Patsy help Loretta learn to speak up for herself, which probably impacted her career and life in immeasurable ways, she always stood up for her and had her back when she wasn’t around, too.
Which brings us to the time Mrs. Patsy had to set some people straight when Loretta first started creating some buzz at the Grand Ole Opry.
She was starting to get invited back often, because of her obvious natural talent and knack for performing, but some of her fellow artists didn’t like that too much (and were just jealous, mainly).
So much so, in fact, that some of them started calling her and asking who she had sex with to “get on the Opry so fast.”
Loretta recalled crying “day and night,” because of it (and who wouldn’t?), and some of those same artists even concocted an intricate plan to keep her off the Opry altogether.
Though, they made a MASSIVE error when they got Patsy involved and actually invited her to the meeting to hear about it.
As Loretta recalled in her autobiography herself:
“Inviting Patsy was their mistake.”
Which, if you know anything about what a fiery little pistol Patsy was, you can understand why this was an error they’re lucky any of them recovered from.
Loretta would never share any of the specific names (unfortunately, because I’m dying to know), but in an effort to put an end to all the bullshit once and for all, Patsy bought Loretta a new dress, got her all made up, and took her to the meeting.
I don’t think it gets anymore badass than that…
Of course, you could’ve heard a pin drop when the women walked in together, much to the surprise of some of the other artists who were not expecting Loretta to be there.
Loretta says that simple move changed everything for her, and she never had another issue with any of them after that:
“Patsy put the stamp of approval on me, and I never had any problems with them again. In fact, they are all my friends now.”
These ladies were bad to the bone. Why you would want to mess with either one of them is beyond me…
It was pretty big of Loretta to forgive all of them for going something as hateful as that, too, if you ask me.
And because of the kindness and compassion Patsy showed Loretta during their entire friendship, Loretta always tried to do everything she could to help other young women coming up the ranks in Nashville trying to make it in the ruthless music industry just like she did, saying:
“When new girls come along, I wouldn’t treat nobody the way they treated me.”
Mrs. Loretta sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 90, but she inspired so many women all over the world with her quick wit, honesty, and ability to wear her heart on her sleeve and be authentic about life, love, and every little thing in between.
Loretta’s 29th studio album I Remember Patsy was actually a tribute to her late friend, produced by Owen Bradley and released in 1977.
The entire tracklist featured covers of some of Patsy’s biggest hits, and I swear I could just listen to it on repeat all day long:
“She’s Got You”