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Remembering Patsy Cline

Beatle Bob Speaks!

BLOG UPDATES FROM BEATLE BOBTheRFW.com/blog/BeatleBob

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MARCH 05

It was 47 years ago today, March 5, 1963, we lost the great Patsy Cline in a tragic airplane accident. She was only 30-years old.

Patsy Cline was one of the most successful, influential,and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century. her life and career have been the subject of many books, films, documentaries, and stage plays. Ten years after her death she became the first female solo artist to be into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her hits included “Walkin’ After Midnight,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “Crazy,””Sweet Dreams,” “She’s Got You.” “Crazy,” (written by Willie Nelson) was a hit on three different music charts Hot Country Songs list (#2), the US Hot 100 list (#9) and the Adult Contemporary list (2). During her short 5 1/2 year career she recieved 12 major music awards


In 2002, Cline was voted by the aritsts and members of the country music industry as number one on CMT’s television special: The 40 Greatest Women Of Country Music,and in a 1999 she was voted #11 in VH1′s TV special:The 100 Greatest 100 Women in Rock & Roll by members and artists of the rock industry.

Patsy’s final performance was a benefit concert in Kansas City,Kansas on March 3 for a family of  a disc jockey, Cactus Jack Call, who had died recently in a automobile accident. The last song she ever sang live was “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone.”

Dottie West whom also performed at the benefit was wary of Cline flying home and begged to her to ride back to Nashville with her and her husband. Cline politely refused, being in a hurry to see her family,saying, “Don’t worry about me. Hoss. When it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.”

The plane included the pilot, Cline’s  manager Randy Hughes, and country music greats Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins. After refueling in Dyyersburg, Tn, the airfield manager tried to get Hughes to spend the night due to high winds and incliment weather. Hughes refused, and later the nplane flew into severe weather, and accordingto Patsy Cline’s wristwatch crashed at 6:20 pm in a forest outside of Camden,Tn, 90-miles from Nashville. There were no surviviors.

Patsy Cline was buried in her hometown of Winchester,Virginia at Shenandoah Memorial Park. Her grave is marked with a simple bronze placque, which reads: Virginia H (Patsy) Cline: “Death Cannot Kill What Never Dies: Love.” A bell tower in her memory at the cemetary, erected with the help of Loretta Lynn and Dottie West, plays hyms daily at 6:00 pm. A memorial mark the place of her crash in the self-remote forest just outside of Camden,Tn.

The video below of Patsy Cline was from a TV show taped just 10 days before her plane accident.


MARCH 03

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE PENDER!

The lead guitarist and lead vocalist of one of the finest British Invasion Bands – the Searchers – turns 68 today!

The Searchers were part of the initial Merseybeat British Invasion, along with The Beatles, Gerry & The Pacemakers, and The Swinging Jeans. Mike Pender was one of the original founding members of The Searchers. The band got their name when Pender dragged future Searchers co-founder and good friend John McNally (guitar-vocals) to the movies to see the classic 1957 John Ford directed Western: The Searchers, starring John Wayne.
After the U.K.skiffle craze died down, Pender and McNally added Tony Jackson-guitar vocals, and Chris Curtis on drums to form their first rock & roll band vocalist Johnny Sandon, and the group became Johnny Sandon & The Searchers in 1960. This lineup lasted until 1962 when Sandon left the group take the lead vocals of another Liverpool beat band: The Remo Four.

With Tony Jackson taking over the lead vocals, The Searchers became one of the top acts on the Liverpool band scene playing textured renditions of American R&B, rock & roll, country and rockabilly. The group was signed to the U.K. label Pye Records in 1963 and their first single, a cover of The Drifters’ “Sweets For My Sweets”, hit #1 on the U.K. charts in August of ’63. While The Beatles quickly outdistanced all comers, The Searchers, did indeed go to the top of charts with two of their next three singles, “Needles And Pins,” and “Don’t Throw Your Love Away.” Another single “Sugar And Spice” stalled at #2. During the next nine months the group staked out a sound that was one of the most distinctive in a rock scene crawling with hundreds of bands.

Their sound was built upon a distinctive 12-string jangly guitar sound coupled withstrong lead vocals and exquisitely arranged vocal harmonies, so that they could credibly cover American R&B standards like “Love Potion No. 9.”

Tony Jackson was fired from the band in 1965, with another Liverpool friend Frank Allen taking his place, with Mike Pender rtaking over most of the lead vocals.

The Searchers first two singles were licensed to two different American labels in 1964, first on Mercury and Liberty without success. Thier third attempt, on Kapp Records, with their former U.K hit “Sugar and Spice” hit the U.S.A. charts at a modest #44. However their next Kapp release, the Sonny Bono- Jack Nitzsche penned “Needles And Pins” became the first Searchers’ Top 20 U.S. hit at #13.
“Don’t Throw Your Love Away”also scored as a qualified U.S. hit at #16 while becoming the third Searchers’ single to hit #1 in the U.K. “Love Potion No. 9″ would become The Searchers all time biggest U.S. hit single (#3), which was never released as a single in the U.K. A cover of Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk in The Room” went #3 in the U.K. but a somewhat disappointing # 35 in the States.

The Searchers continued to garner big U.K. hits all through 1964-1965. “Someday Were Gonna Love Again” (U.K., 64- #11- U.S. #34), “What Have They Done To The Rain,” (U.K., ’64 – #13- U.S. – #29), “Goodbye My Love,” (U.K., ’64 – #4 – U.S. # 52), “He’s Got No Love,” (U.K., ’65 – #12 – U.S. #79), “Take Me For What I’m Worth,” (U.K. ’65 – # 20 – U.S. – #76). Sadly, the last big U.S. hit for The Searchers was another Amercian R&B cover, by Lavern Baker, “Bumble Bee” – #20, a song that was not released as a single in the U.K.

The Searchers also had strong album sales in the U.K. with their first four LPs all reaching the Top 5. In 1966, with musical styles evolving, The Searchers could keep up and as a result, the hits ran out. Chris Curtis left the band that year, and The Searchers would continue throughout the seventies and was awarded a two album contract by Sire Records. the two records,The Searchers and Love Melodies,garnered critical acclaim and should have big sellers, but both albums criminally failed to make the charts.

Mike Pender left the band amongst acrimony in 1981, and today you have the confusing line-ups of The Searchers (led by John McNally) and Mike Pender’s Searchers.

One thing is for sure, Mike Pender’s distinctive 12-string guitar work , along with the compelling harmonies of The Searchers inspired a lot of ’60s artists, notably Roger McGuinn of the Byrds who adopted not only Pender’s guitar motif but also the exquisite harmonies of The Searchers, and The Searchers should be given the notation in the history of rock & roll as being the inventors of folk-rock and not The Byrds.

you can email Mike Pender a birthday greeting at: info@mikependersearchers.co.uk
And hit the link below to see a real gear video of The Searchers performing one their biggest hit singles: “Needles and Pins.”