The Surprising Backstory of Patsy Cline’s ‘I Fall to Pieces’


On Aug. 7, 1961, Patsy Cline’s most iconic 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.

The legendary 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 the famous Brenda Lee and Roy Drusky. Imagine that — The song could’ve originally been sung by a man. Both stars declined.

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, Cline enjoyed numerous milestones, including an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The song was Cline’s first No. 1 country record and hogged the top spot of the country chart for two weeks.

Since then, a handful of artists have covered “I Fall to Pieces”, included Trisha Yearwood, who performed it as a duet with R&B singer Aaron Neville.

Take a moment to appreciate Patsy Cline beautifully performing this longing ballad on the Glenn Reeves Show in 1963. After watching, you’re sure to be thankful the legendary singer decided to record “I Fall to Pieces” in the first place.

Now Watch: Inside the New Patsy Cline Museum in Nashville

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The Surprising Backstory of Patsy Cline’s ‘I Fall to Pieces’