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Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline Paperback – June 1, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This memorable biography of one of country music's most enduring legends is a revised abridgment of Patsy Cline , published in 1981. According to Nassour, Cline (1932-1963) was the first woman to demonstrate that country music could appeal to a wide audience. Bold and ambitious, she was a free-living, earthy performer whom producers sometimes found difficult to work with. She apparently had few close friends, but she showed generosity to any number of people, particularly talented young women singers such as Dottie West and Loretta Lynn. Her long-term association with producer Bill McCall was, financially, "probably the single biggest mistake Patsy made in her professional life," claims Nassour, but he gives McCall great credit for promoting Cline's career. Although Cline died in a plane crash 30 years ago, her musical influence has persisted. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Done with great respect and humor and just enough down-and-dirty detail." —New York Daily News


"Patsy Cline's immortal voice sings in Honky Tonk Angel . . . it brings tears streaming down your face. . . . Larger than life, yet still intimate. Honest and respectful."  —The Virginian-Pilot


"Gazes unflinchingly at its subject. . . . Filled with poignant memories and amazing detail."  ­­—Nashville Tennessean


"With a clear, concise style, Nassour reconstructs Cline’s life. . . . [The] painstaking interviews provide an insightful and comprehensive look at one of country music's pioneers. It’s a good read."  —Rocky Mountain News



"Cline was a woman of great passion, prone to her own style of sexual braggadocio, and Nassour gives us all the earthiness of this most sublime singer."  —Phoenix Gazette



"Revealing and absorbing . . . a winner."  —Liz Smith


"Ellis Nassour’s biography doesn’t just paint an image of the Patsy Cline I knew and loved. What really emerges is a poignant tribute to one of our greatest singing legends."  —Brenda Lee, American pop singer and member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and Rockabilly Hall of Fame


"Honky Tonk Angel brought back wonderful memories. It brings home the fact that Patsy was an original in her cowboy outfit with red boots and western hat singing her butt off, singing her soul at you. There's been no one quite like her."  —Roger Miller
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Updated edition edition (June 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556527470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556527470
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #635,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ellis Nassour began researching Cline's death long before there was a "Coal Miner's Daughter" or a "Sweet Dreams" and to date, with all of the Patsy Cline biographies out there, I can assure you after reading them all that "Honky Tonk Angel: The intimate story of Patsy Cline" is by far the best. I've owned this book since 1993 and I still pick it up at least once a year to read it. Nassour has gone to great lengths to portray Cline in a totally honest -yet respectful- way, interviewing countless friends, music legends, family members and acquaintances. He doesn't take information from other sources as other authors have since - he is THE source for all things Patsy Cline. After reading this book, you'll see Cline professionally and personally, in her highs and lows - you'll love her even more afterwards! Of all of the biographies I've read, this one is so beautifully written - it's as if you were reading Patsy's journal its so personal! If you're a Cline fan or just interested in who she was, do yourself a favor and read the best book ever written on her!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nassour manages to show the struggle Patsy Cline went through to make it to the top, from her high school days in Winchester VA to her too early death at 30 in a crashed airplane in Tennessee. Lovers of good music who can sing every note of every Cline song, and mimic each break in that unique voice, will learn she grew up collecting Kay Starr records, worked her way around the VA-WV-MD fraternal club circuit, wasn't always popular in her home town and cut a wide path for female country singers to follow. She was a country singer when country was country. But she was also the first to use strings and when Owen Bradley added Floyd Cramer's piano to those famous recording sessions, the real Patsy Cline sound matured in the style still heard around the world today. Well documented, good photos, immensely readable
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The only thing that comes close to Patsy Cline's haunting singing voice is the enthralling story of her tumultuous, yet victorious life - as told by biographer Ellis Nassour.
In "Honky Tonk Angel, the Intimate Story of Patsy Cline," Nassour has brought Patsy to "life" again. His sensitive, yet honest, recounting of the legendary singer's struggle to become a "star" in the male-dominated country music field is filled with her family and friends' three-dimensional memories of Patsy, her toughness, her talent, her tenacity, her loyalty and compassion.
This is not a book for "Country-only" fans. Patsy's life story will encourage and comfort others who may be struggling through life toward success.
Nassour's writing could be compared to a literary hologram in his ability to present his subject through sight, sound and touch. I could veritably hear Patsy sing "Walkin' After Midnight," see her sassy walk and feel her tears as I read.
A.K.A. Reta Spears-Stewart, Literary Editor/Author of "Remembering the Ozark Jubilee, Starring Red Foley"
Springfield, Missouri
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a Patsy Cline fan since I was six years old. This book has been in my Patsy collection for eight years. It is THE MOST comprehensive view of Patsy's life that I've ever read. (And I have "a few of those OTHER books" in my collection as well, but they don't even come close to Mr. Nassour's very informative and compelling look at the life of the one and only Patsy Cline. THE BOOK to read, ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!!!... You've found the one and only book on Patsy Cline that you need, That is Ellis Nassour's: Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoy reading Honky Tonk Angel again & again. It's such a honest book & evokes memories of that fabulous period, the 50' & 60's when I knew Patsy & she was singing her heart out. I congratulate Mr. Nassour for writing the truth. It shows she was human like the rest of us. As a singer, no one can take her place. Her music has touched the hearts of millions everywhere. Her "Sweet Dreams" keeps us dreaming on & songs like "I Fall to Pieces" remind us we're vulnerable & have hurts in our lives as well. Her music & voice are timeless--one reason that people still listen to Patsy. The book has photos I've found no where else, & there are more (plus great stories) on the book website@ patsyclinehta.com. The book captures Patsy's life so poignantly that I sense the emotion behind each word--emotion that evokes a star who fell before her time. Faye Morgan
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading all the bio's about Patsy Cline, I find this book,by:Ellis Nassour, by far the very best. The Intimate detail
is just out right awsome.Look's like a few other authors should take a few lessons! Definatly a 5 star rating!
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If you want to know the REAL Patsy Cline this is the book to read..The other books out there don't even begin to get it right..As far as i'm concerned THIS is the only book to read...Honky Tonk Angel has it all..No holding back..Ellis Nassour tells it like it was..Just like Patsy herself...Now stop reading this and ORDER THIS BOOK!

Dustin K. Watson
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This book is truly a masterpiece. No other Patsy biography can come close. Beautifully written. I've read this book atleast 6 times, probably more, and can NEVER put it down once I start. Every time I read it, I find something new that I didn't know was there before! Truly amazing work by Nassour. Now if only "Sweet Dreams" had been based off this book!!! I will forever be greatful to you, Mr. Nassour. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
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