Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline

Overview

Earthy, sexy, and vivacious, the life of beloved country singer, Patsy Cline, who soared from obscurity to international fame to tragic death in just thirty short years, is explored in colorful and poignant detail. An innovator—and even a hell-raiser—Cline broke all the boys’ club barriers of Nashville’s music business in the 1950s and brought a new Nashville sound to the nation with her pop hits and torch ballads like “Walking After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces“ and "Crazy.” She is the subject of a major ...

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Overview

Earthy, sexy, and vivacious, the life of beloved country singer, Patsy Cline, who soared from obscurity to international fame to tragic death in just thirty short years, is explored in colorful and poignant detail. An innovator—and even a hell-raiser—Cline broke all the boys’ club barriers of Nashville’s music business in the 1950s and brought a new Nashville sound to the nation with her pop hits and torch ballads like “Walking After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces“ and "Crazy.” She is the subject of a major Hollywood movie and countless articles, and her albums are still selling 45 years after her death. Ellis Nassour was the very first to write about Cline and did so with the cooperation of the stars who knew and loved her—including Jimmy Dean, Jan Howard, Brenda Lee, Loretta Lynn, Roger Miller, Dottie West, and Faron Young. He was the only writer to interview Cline's mother and husbands. This updated edition features not only a complete discography and a host of never-before-published photographs, but includes an afterword that details controversial claims about her birth, the battle between Cline's siblings for her possessions, the amazing influence Cline had on a new generation of singers and, in Cline’s own words from letters to a devoted friend, her excitement as her career soared to new heights and her marriage descended to new depths.

Here is the bestselling, intimate biography of Patsy Cline, the earthy, sexy and vivacious woman who brought the Nashville sound to the rest of the nation. Honky Tonk Angel offers an intimate detailing of the legendary singer's colorful and poignant life and tragic death. Photos. Martin's.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Done with great respect and humor and just enough down-and-dirty detail." —New York Daily News

"Patsy Cline's immortal voice sings in Honky Tonk Angel . . . it brings tears streaming down your face. . . . Larger than life, yet still intimate. Honest and respectful."  —The Virginian-Pilot

"Gazes unflinchingly at its subject. . . . Filled with poignant memories and amazing detail."  ­­—Nashville Tennessean

"With a clear, concise style, Nassour reconstructs Cline’s life. . . . [The] painstaking interviews provide an insightful and comprehensive look at one of country music's pioneers. It’s a good read."  —Rocky Mountain News

"Cline was a woman of great passion, prone to her own style of sexual braggadocio, and Nassour gives us all the earthiness of this most sublime singer."  —Phoenix Gazette

"Revealing and absorbing . . . a winner."  —Liz Smith

"Ellis Nassour’s biography doesn’t just paint an image of the Patsy Cline I knew and loved. What really emerges is a poignant tribute to one of our greatest singing legends."  —Brenda Lee, American pop singer and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Rockabilly Hall of Fame

"Honky Tonk Angel brought back wonderful memories. It brings home the fact that Patsy was an original in her cowboy outfit with red boots and western hat singing her butt off, singing her soul at you. There's been no one quite like her."  —Roger Miller

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This memorable biography of one of country music's most enduring legends is a revised abridgment of Patsy Cline , published in 1981. According to Nassour, Cline (1932-1963) was the first woman to demonstrate that country music could appeal to a wide audience. Bold and ambitious, she was a free-living, earthy performer whom producers sometimes found difficult to work with. She apparently had few close friends, but she showed generosity to any number of people, particularly talented young women singers such as Dottie West and Loretta Lynn. Her long-term association with producer Bill McCall was, financially, ``probably the single biggest mistake Patsy made in her professional life,'' claims Nassour, but he gives McCall great credit for promoting Cline's career. Although Cline died in a plane crash 30 years ago, her musical influence has persisted. Photos not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Lifestyles: Long Island Edition

[Nassour's] definitive, biographical account of Patsy Cline's poignant and explosively creative career, unrequited loves and ultimately reckless life, is the stuff of Greek Tragedy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556527470
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Edition description: Updated edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 487,797
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Ellis Nassour is a veteran of The New York Times and an entertainment writer. He has devoted the past 15 years to promoting the legacy of Patsy Cline, and has been involved in two musicals of her story.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Love it

    Very in depth and deliciously provocative.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 21, 2012

    The acceptable, but flawed, biography of Patsy Cline.

    While enjoying this book, after discovering Patsy Cline's brilliantly orchestrated and sung 1960-1963 Decca studio recordings, one's main complaints are a) that the author is guilty of occasionally adding his own dialogue, allegedly spoken between characters depicted in the book, and b) there is too much use of unatributable (hearsay) material. The only characters one found to be believable were those who had no axe to grind, or reputation to enhance. These being in the main her close friends; far too few, unfortunately, of which she had.

    Because of the above-mentioned flaws in the book, no clear image of Patsy Cline emerges, and it's that image which one is desperately seeking. Biographies should be about TRUTH, nothing added and nothing taken away. One dearly wants to love Patsy Cline for things other than her beautiful singing.

    Derek Peake (United Kingdom).

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    I really want to read this book.

    Hay everyone well i havent read this book yet but i put it on my wish list i LOVE pasty cline!!! She is my hero! My grandfather died about a year ago and his favorit singer is Pasty Cline and when i was 6 i would visit him and we would go on the computer and look up walking after midnight and thats when i got addicted to Pasty cline and i will have that song stuck in my head for 2-3 days and it reminds mebof my grandfather.
    RIP jimmy don story my grandpa.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2008

    The definitive story of Patsy Cline as told by Ellis Nassour

    No man has done more to perpetuate the memory of Patsy Cline than author, Ellis Nassour. His latest endeavor is a treasure trove of updated facts on the legendary singer including a wealth of rare and never before seen photographs. This book is a must for any Patsy fan & those who may be discovering her music for the first time!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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