Ellis Nassour‘s exhaustive book, Patsy Cline: Honky Tonk Angel, has gotten even more exhaustive. It’s being rereleased in a matter of moments with some extra material which Nassour has tracked down in his tireless quest to present 100% of the pioneering country queen who went so “Crazy” she was often found “Walking After Midnight” looking for more hit records.
As Nassour tells me: “I had access to 25 letters Patsy wrote to a beloved friend, and in vivid detail in several of them she talks about the mental and physical abuse inflicted on her by [hubby] Charlie Dick. However, in spite of her sister’s constantly telling people that Patsy was planning to divorce Charlie, in the last letter Patsy writes that’s he seems to be changing and is better to her. So I guess there was hope.
“Also, two women from different parts of the country came forward to say that their fathers were actually Patsy’s father. With all my research, I have concluded that the first woman’s father is actually Patsy’s father and that the marriage of Patsy’s mother Hilda to Sam Hensley was basically a sham marriage [that he might actually have been paid to marry her]. Patsy was born six days after the wedding! Also, a bit darker, it seems that Sam did or tried to do some hanky panky on Patsy!
And, re: the second woman’s claims, it appears that ‘Saint’ Hilda, while married to Sam with Patsy about a year to two-years-old, continued to see this woman’s father, a very wealthy West Virgina gent.”
Honey, I’m more confused than a trailer-park girl who’s just found out her father is her brother, but honey, I’m gonna get the new book and go “crazy” lapping up all this grand new old dirt!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 13, 2008