Dad's Favorite Albums: Patsy Cline's GREATEST HITS [1967]

We all have many people in our lives to be thankful for on this, the day of giving thanks.  I am extremely thankful for everyone in my life while only a little less thankful for all the ones that have come and gone, leaving their mark on me whether I realize it or not.  Thanksgiving has never been my favorite holiday but I appreciate the traditions so many others look forward to with relish.  Not a fan of turkey, stuffing, yams or the cranberry-whatever-the-heck-that-is.  My own father seemed to live for family gatherings and enjoyed his role as family patriarch.  This will be our first Holiday Season without Dad but we'll always have the memories and the music. Thanks, Dad.
Before her tragic and untimely passing at the age of 30, Patsy Cline released just three albums, six EPs (extended plays with four songs) and charted just eight singles in her eight year recording career. In March 1967, four years after her passing, Decca Records released Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits.  The twelve song collection contains nine of her Top 100 singles, including eight of her Top 20 Country hits.  The album was slow to make the Country Albums chart, debuting at number 39 on the forty position chart with the April 22, 1967 issue of Billboard but failed to land on the mainstream Top 200 albums chart.  The following week, the album held at number 39 but beginning with the May 6, 1967 issue, Billboard expanded the Hot Country Albums chart to 45 positions and Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits dropped down to number 42 before eventually rising to peak at #17.  By 1973, a decade after Cline's death, Decca had been folded into MCA Records which reissued Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits on the eve of Cline's induction into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.  The album once again charted on the Hot Country Albums chart but still failed to chart on the Top 200 or surpass the number 17 benchmark that it had established on the Hot Country Albums chart.
Dad acquired the album as an 8-track sometime in late 1973 or early 1974.  Typical of tapes from the era, the playlist is shuffled so that no songs are broken up across the four programs.  Until I bought my own copy of the album on vinyl in 1983 from a mail order record club, the 8-track running order was how I knew the album and when you listen to an album like that, you grow to expect certain songs to be played but thanks to more than thirty years of repeated listens to the barely over thirty minute album, my ears have been retrained.  This is one of those albums I never listen to on shuffle mode and often listen to when I want to relax and even fall asleep.  I consider it one of the Greatest "Greatest Hits" albums ever compiled. 
LP8 tracktitleyearCountryEasy ListeningHot 100
11Walking After Midnight1957212
210Sweet Dreams (Of You)1963544
411I Fall To Pieces19611612
54So Wrong19621485
77Back In Baby's Arms1963
86She's Got You19621314
98Faded Love1963796
103Why Can't He Be You1962107
1112You're Stronger Than Me1962103
129Leavin' On Your Mind1963883
Dad eventually bought a copy of the album on vinyl as well sometime in the early Eighties.  In 1988, MCA remastered and re-released the album once again, this time on CD with new cover art and a slightly tweaked title but it was still the same Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits album.  Now titled 12 Greatest Hits, the album climbed back on the Country Albums chart yet again.  Then it migrated over to the Top Catalog Albums chart and spent nearly 300 weeks moving up and down the chart, peaking at number 6.  Between the Country and Catalog Albums charts, Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits/12 Greatest Hits has spent more than a thousand weeks on the chart and still never made the Top 200.  In 2005, the album was certified Diamond for selling in excess of ten million copies.  Dad alone accounted for four of those copies with his 8-track, his vinyl and the two copies of the CD which were in his collection when I inherited it this past May. 
Though I have yet to come across it in his collection of cassette tapes, I would not be surprised to find it along with several other Patsy Cline tapes.  He had eight other neverheardofthelabel Patsy Cline albums on CD including two box sets, both of which spread thirty songs across three discs.
The one conversation I recall we had about Patsy Cline was sparked by the 1985 movie of her life Sweet Dreams, starring Jessica Lange as Cline.  We talked about how neither one of us wanted the soundtrack as we had the Greatest Hits album and that was enough.  He said he would always think of Cline's music as jukebox music because that was where he always heard it, never on the radio.  Just like Dad did, I later wanted more of Cline's music and ended up picking up the three compilations pictured below:

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