Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Patsy Cline Handwritten and Signed Letter With Set List And Photographs, 1956 By late 1956 Patsy Cline had recorded a few singles and appeared at the Grand Ol' Opry, but she hadn't yet broken through on the national level and would often sing on the local club circuit near her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. The common practice would be for a local backing band to accompany her. This letter was written to a clubowner in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and lays out the details of just such a performance. It reads: "Dear Sir: Thought I would let you know that the 30th will be fine with me to come to Poplar Tavern. I am free the 30th and will be there at 9:P.M. ready to start. And thanks for asking me to come down. You ask for a list of songs so these following are the ones I will do, and the keys they will be played in." (After listing 23 songs the letter concludes:) "We may not use all of these, but just in case. Thanks again and I'll see you on the 30th. Sincerely, Patsy Cline" The backing band would thus have the set list to rehearse the material in the correct keys.

    The letter was consigned by the daughter of a musician who often accompanied Cline at the Poplar Tavern. Included with it are two photos, one of Patsy and the band on stage, and another of Patsy and friends relaxing after a performance. Included is the mailing envelope with a second Cline autograph in the return address, postdated November 24, 1956. Just two weeks earlier, on November 8, Cline had recorded "Walkin' After Midnight" with famed producer Owen Bradley. After the song was released on February 11, 1957 she performed it on an episode of Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Her outstanding performance won the competition and sent the song to #2 Country charts and #16 on the Pop charts, making Cline one of the first Country performers to have a crossover Pop hit.

    The letter is in Excellent condition, written on two sheets of 8.5" x 11" stationery and signed by Cline in blue ink. The envelope is in Very Good condition with a few small stains. The vintage photo of Cline with patrons bears a stamp from 1957 on the reverse and an inscription, measuring 7" x 5" with some small creases but overall Very Good condition. The group photo is a later reprint in Excellent condition measuring 8" x 10". Accompanied by an LOA from the daughter of the fiddler who is pictured in the group photo.


    More Information:

    This handwritten letter (which contains a full performance set list) dates to a very interesting time in Patsy Cline's career. Patsy had signed her first recording contract in 1955 with the Four Stars label, a small subsidiary of Decca. She'd recorded a few singles and gotten enough notice to make appearances at the Grand Ol' Opry, but she'd not yet broken through on the national level and was mostly singing on the weekends on the local club circuit near her hometown of Winchester, Virginia. The common practice would be for the singer to arrive without a group, and a local backing band would accompany her. 
    The letter presented here is dated November 23, 1956 and was written by Patsy Cline to a Mr. R.M. Johnson, the owner of a club in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and lays out the details of just such a performance.  It reads: "Dear Sir: Thought I would let you know that the 30th will be fine with me to come to Poplar Tavern. I am free the 30th and will be there at 9:P.M. ready to start. And thanks for asking me to come down. You ask for a list of songs so these following are the ones I will do, and the keys they will be played in."  (After listing 23 songs, including her first single, "A Church, A Courtroom, and Goodbye," the letter concludes:)  "We may not use all of these, but just in case. Thanks again and I'll see you on the 30th.  Sincerely, Patsy Cline"  The backing band would thus have the set list in advance, and could rehearse the material in the correct keys as needed.
    This incredible letter is was consigned by the daughter of one of the Fredericksburg musicians who regularly accompanied Cline at the Poplar Tavern during this period, and a strong friendship was developed between the singer and the musician's family.  Included with it are two photos taken at the club, one with Patsy Cline and the band on stage, and another of Patsy and a number of friends relaxing after a performance.  Also included is the original mailing envelope, with a second Cline autograph in the return address, and stamped and postdated November 24, 1956, from Winchester Virginia.
    Just two weeks earlier, on November 8, Cline had recorded what would become her first big hit, "Walkin' After Midnight."  The song would be released on February 11, 1957, and ten days later she performed it on national television on an episode of Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts.   Her outstanding performance won the evening's competition, and requests for the song began pouring in to radio stations. "Walkin' After Midnight" reached #2 on the Country charts, and #16 on the Pop charts, making Cline one of the first country performers to have a crossover Pop hit.
    The letter is in Excellent condition, on two sheets of 8.5" x 11" stationery, written and signed by Cline in bold blue ink.  There are two horizontal folds on each sheet from envelope insertion. The envelope is in very Very Good condition, fully intact with some discoloration from age and a few small stains.  The photo of Cline with patrons is an original vintage black and white print measuring 7" x 5", with some small creases but overall very Very Good condition.  It bears a stamp from May 1957 on the reverse, and an inscription in blue marker: "Patsy Cline talking to Pansy Green and D. Jett."  The group photo is a later reprint in Excellent condition, sepia toned and measuring 8" x 10".  Accompanied by an LOA from the daughter of Willie Withers, the fiddler in the Virginia Ramblers, and who is pictured in the group photo.

     


     



    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    6th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,006

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2018 December 9 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage helped us feel we served the memory of our uncle with respect for his life's work and Heritage reflected that respect. You make a great team and gave us all a most memorable experience. We hope to work with you again some time in the future.
    C., A., L., & H. G.,
    Northport, NY
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 July 21 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 July 21 Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $908,870