Patsy Cline is undoubtedly one of the most iconic female performers of all time. She was the first solo woman to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and her Willie Nelson penned "Crazy" continues to be revered by fans. She was taken away too soon, dying in a plane crash when she was only 30 years old, but has still made her mark on the music industry. For a deeper look into where Cline came from, you can visit her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.
The city of Winchester (i.e. the "apple capital of the world") is located in the Shenandoah Valley in northern Virginia and provides the perfect spot to brush up on your American history as well. About 60 miles outside of Washington D.C., Winchester-Frederick County is the perfect weekend getaway or day trip. The historic district of Old Town Winchester is home of the Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum where you can see plenty of Civil War memorbilia. The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley contains 18th century art as well as detailed history of the area.
The town was originally nicknamed "Frederick Town" (inspiring Frederick County). President George Washington spent so much of his time there between 1748 until 1758 he even has his own hotel. And don't forget about the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and Shenandoah University. But for the country music fans that don't care about United States history, Handley Regional Library, Fort Loudoun from the French and Indian War, the oldest house in town Abram's Delight, Washington's Office Museum, or the sixth Lord Fairfax, James Wood who founded the town (which was originally a Shawnee village), we've rounded up the best stops to recount Patsy Cline's career.
Things to Do in Winchester, Virginia:
Historic Patsy Cline House
The house is prime real estate, located at 608 S Kent St, which is less than a mile from downtown Winchester. This idyllic house is where Patsy spend the majority of her life outside of Nashville. The home is open open seven day a week; Monday through Saturday, 10am to 4pm; Sunday 1-4pm. Tours are under an hour and ends with the gift shop. Prices for adults is $8/person.
Winchester is so proud of their hometown hero that, on Feb. 26, 2021, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) introduced legislation to rename the post office on the pedestrian walking mall in Winchester, Virginia after the country music legend.
"I'm excited to introduce this legislation and honor Winchester's own Patsy Cline," Wexton said in a press release. "The support this bill has received from Roanoke to Norfolk to Arlington shows the enduring legacy of Patsy Cline and the popularity she still holds. Nearly 60 years after her untimely death, people still Fall to Pieces over her music and this bill proves that we're still Crazy over her."
Karen Helms, a Patsy Cline historian, explained that the post office is located near Cline's Winchester, Virginia home.
"Tapping the U.S. Postal Service facility on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in downtown Winchester in honor of Patsy Cline is an ideal way to acknowledge the importance of her presence in her hometown," Karen Helms, President of Celebrating Patsy Cline, Inc./ Patsy Cline Historic House, said. "In January 1957, CBS's Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts introduced our local celebrity as 'Patsy Cline from Winchester Virginia' on live television just before her winning performance of 'Walkin' After Midnight,' and launched her as a national celebrity. This U.S. Postal Service facility is near the Patsy Cline Historic House, a National Historic Landmark, where Patsy lived the longest of anywhere in her life. Even when dreams took her to Nashville, she always called Winchester her home."
G&M Music Store
For a glimpse at the music store where the music legend first recorded, look no further than G&M. Established in 1937, there's a lot of history behind those walls. You'll find this historic site at 2640 Valley Ave.
WINC Radio Station
The beginning of Patsy's career started with recording at this very station when she was only 15 years old. While you can't actually tour the studio, you can listen to 92.5 while your'e in town, and imagine what it was like when Patsy first heard her voice on the radio!
Patsy's grave is located in Shenandoah Memorial Park where a giant bell tower was erected in her honor. The actual grave is quite small but can be found behind the on-site funeral home and is covered in pennies by her admirers for good luck.
This article was originally published in 2019. It was updated on March 2, 2021.