It’s been 53 years since singer Patsy Cline died, but her legacy continues. On Friday, an announcement by Ben and Shannon Miller revealed that a museum will be built to honor the country icon.
Rolling Stone reported that the Miller Family organization will fund the entire project. Ben Miller is also responsible for the Johnny Cash Museum in downtown Nashville that opened in 2013, and is now one of the top tour attractions in the city. Miller said that construction for the Cline museum will begin this June, but no word yet on when the grand opening will commence.
The future Patsy Cline museum will be placed above the Johnny Cash Museum, located on 119 Third Avenue in downtown Nashville. The Cline museum intends on having the largest collection of Cline’s possessions and rare items. The museum will also feature touch-screen technology and a state-of-the-art interactive audio that will play Cline’s music.
The newest tribute museum comes at the blessing of Cline’s family. Julie Fudge, Cline’s daughter with her second husband, Charlie Dick, talked about the museum project, and how she and her brothers are happy that her mother’s music legacy will be shared in a large capacity. Dick passed away at the age of 81 last November.
“Since the passing of our father last fall, this is our first step together in continuing to share Mom’s music, life and story, as we feel Dad would have. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with and experience what Bill will present to old and new fans alike.”
The surviving Cline family will provide many items that once belonged to Patsy Cline. Items such as awards, letters, furniture pieces, costumes, and never-before-seen photographs will be displayed at the tribute museum.
Bill Miller is optimistic that the Cline museum will be as successful as the Johnny Cash Museum. Miller feels that since Cline is still one of the most memorable singers from the 1960s, her global fans should have the opportunity to see how the crossover singer lived, along with listening to her music from a high-tech sound system.
“Despite the fact that she passed decades ago, her impact and presence are every bit as big today as ever. She has transcended generations and genres and is indisputably the greatest and most influential female country music artist of all time. She’s a true icon deserving of her own museum.”
Patsy Cline was born as Virginia Patterson Hensley on September 8, 1932, in Gore, Virginia. Cline was known as Ginny during her childhood; one of her earlier managers, Bill Peer, christened her with the name Patsy as a variation of her middle name once Cline embarked on a singing career.
Cline’s first marriage to Gerald Cline ended in 1957 when Cline wanted to pursue singing as a career, and Gerald wanted her to be a traditional housewife. Two months after her divorce was final, Patsy married Charlie Dick, a marriage that produced two children.
Cline’s popularity started in 1957 with the song “Walkin’ After Midnight” that was written by Donn Hecht and Alan Block. Cline’s other classic hits include the songs “I Fall to Pieces;” “She’s Got You;” “Crazy,” which was written by Willie Nelson; and “Sweet Dreams.”
In 1960, Patsy Cline was accepted into the Grand Ole Opry membership after requesting to join. She is the only singer to date to join the Opry that way. Cline would also become the first female country singer to headline her own shows and receive top billing. Cline loved to befriend other promising female country singers such as Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, Brenda Lee, and Barbara Mandrell, and helped them pursue their own singing goals.
Cline died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963 near Camden, Tennessee. Cline is buried in Winchester, Virginia, as that was part of her final wishes.
[Photo from AP Images]