On Aug. 7, 1961, the Patsy Cline Showcase song, "I Fall to Pieces," reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts. It's hard to believe the legendary song barely made it to the recording studio. To think, a song as country as moss on a tree almost never happened.
The "Crazy" singer reportedly detested "I Fall to Pieces" and had no interest in recording it. Looking back today, the sad, sad song was one of Cline's most successful hits and launched her into the country music scene.
Before Cline recorded "I Fall to Pieces" in November of 1960, the song, written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard, was first pitched to Decca producer Owen Bradley, who sought out the right recording artist. The song was turned down by the famous Brenda Lee and Roy Drusky. Imagine that -- The song could've originally been sung by a man.
The track's rocky destiny continued during its recording as Cline was concerned the background vocalists, the Jordanaires, would overpower her own voice. She also wasn't a fan of the "Nashville-sound" of the instrumentals. On top of that, Cline was seven months pregnant at the time.
After being released as a single Jan. 1, 1961, "I Fall to Pieces" endured slow success. By April, the track finally made it on the country chart and by August, it premiered at number one. From there, the country singer and honky-tonk icon enjoyed numerous milestones, including an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. That year Cline was considered one the top recording artists alongside Jimmy Darren and Bobby Vee.
The song, known as one of the saddest country songs ever recorded, was Cline's first No. 1 country record and hogged the top spot of the country chart for two weeks. A duet version of the song featuring country star Jim Reeves also hit 54 on the country charts.
Since then, a handful of artists have covered "I Fall to Pieces", including Trisha Yearwood, who performed it as a duet with R&B singer Aaron Neville. (We think a George Jones version would've been fun too!)
Take a moment to appreciate country star Patsy Cline beautifully performing this longing ballad on the Glenn Reeves Show in 1963. She may not ever be on the cover of Rolling Stone for it, but after watching, you're sure to be thankful the legendary singer decided to record "I Fall to Pieces" in the first place. Just in the nick of time.
This post was originally published on August 7, 2017.