Because Once There Was Patsy Cline

A woman in the Playhouse audience last night asked the sound check man if the lead, Carter Calvert, had an understudy and he said no, ma'am I don't believe she does. I'd been thinking I didn't know how she could given the actress's voice and her seamless fit into the role, but as I Googled for a video or a photo I found different productions and actresses. Amazing that there are so many talented people in the world and bless them all. If I could just sing on-key for the length of a song I'd be happy. If this show ever comes to your town or close by it's worth the dressing up and stepping out. Beware though, Patsy makes today's radio pop music sound a bit tarnished and thin.

A Wife Explains Why She Likes Country

by Barbara Ras

Because those cows in the bottomland are black and white, colors

anyone can understand, even against the green

of the grass, where they glide like yes and no, nothing in between,

because in country, heartache has nowhere to hide,

it's the Church of Abundant Life, the Alamo,

the hubbub of the hoi polloi, the parallel lines of rail fences,

because I like rodeos more than golf,

because there's something about the sound of mealworms and

leeches and the dream of a double-wide

that reminds me this is America, because of the simple pleasure

of a last chance, because sometimes whiskey

tastes better than wine, because hauling hogs on the road

is as good as it gets when the big bodies are layered like pigs in a cake,

not one layer but two,

because only country has a gun with a full choke and a slide guitar

that melts playing it cool into sweaty surrender in one note,

because in country you can smoke forever and it'll never kill you,

because roadbeds, flatbeds, your bed or mine,

because the package store is right across from the chicken plant

and it sells boiled peanuts, because I'm fixin' to wear boots to the dance

and make my hair bigger, because no smarty-pants, just easy rhymes,

perfect love, because I'm lost deep within myself and the sad songs call me out,

because even you with your superior aesthetic cried

when Tammy Wynette died,

because my people

come from dirt.


  1. This show clip was amazing. For a very long time in films, stars had to lip-sync because no one could quite get the sound of Patsy.

    Also love the writing...nothing like getting dirty on a cleans the soul.

  2. Ah May Zing! Been a Patsy Cline fan since, well, let's not got there.

  3. I saw that play with my Frencher Half at the Barclay Theater at the University of California, Irvine, fifteen years ago, easily, and have the ticket stubs scotch-taped into one of my journals!

    "...because my people come from dirt."

    for the boys:

    for the girls:

  4. Love love love Patsy. The poem is pretty fabulous too. Thanks!


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