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Celebrating Patsy Cline: 50 Years After Death

Celebrating Patsy Cline: 50 Years After Death

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(Yahoo!) - In the late 1990s, the Country Music Hall of Fame published an authoritative encyclopedia that staked out Patsy Cline as "the most popular female country singer in recording history." Outdated, you say?

Hardly. Since that claim was published, it's true, Taylor Swift and Shania Twain have surpassed Cline's overall record sales. But if you want to make the case that they've eclipsed her in every way, or that her impact has diminished in the 50 years since Cline perished in a March 5, 1963 plane crash, prepare to have music historians call you... crazy.

One indicator that she's gotten bigger even in death than in life: Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits is still the only album by a solo artist ever to sell 10 million copies in America entirely posthumously. (For the record, the Doors also had a best-of sell 10 million after Jim Morrison's death, and while posthumous releases by 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G. were certified diamond, as double-albums they only had to sell 5 million each to reach that status.)

Another indicator: "Crazy," her 1961 pop-country crossover smash, is often referred to as the biggest jukebox hit of all time. While it's difficult to verify that claim without actually collecting quarters from bartenders, is it possible to imagine any jukebox worth its salt not including this single? Or to think of any other 50-year-old song that would also be a sure-inclusion?

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