First off, tell me about yourself?
My name is Suzie Graham and I’m a Patsy Cline Tribute artist from Glasgow. I have always sung in bands since I was about 15 however, was always told I had a “country twang” even when I sang in rock bands. I now work as a Patsy Cline tribute singing in pubs, clubs, hotels etc all over Scotland and the UK.
So what made you want to be a Patsy Cline tribute artist?
I’ve been listening to Patsy since as far back as I remember after being introduced to her by my mother Benedetta when I was around six years old. In school, all my friends were listening to dance music and I was trying to teach them Patsy’s songs and getting them all to slap their thighs. It was other people who told me I sounded like Patsy and I should do the tribute to her which is an honour for me also being a fan.
How do you get In to doing tribute acts anyway?
Tributes seemed to be the popular thing and as I was already a full time singer, I gave Patsy a go about 5 years ago to an amazing response, again a great honour for me to have an appreciative audience singing along with songs we all love. I especially love that I bring back so many memories for others of their mothers and grandmothers playing Patsy records. I also made a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/patsyclinetribute) where a comment was left by Randy Dick (Patsy’s son) telling me I did have a gift to sound like his mother and he appreciated that. We’ve been Facebook friends since for about 5 years now.
A related question, do you feel it’s more important to have the look or sound down when tributing someone?
Definitely the sound. I had some western outfits from eBay and a dodgy wig when I first started out before my amazing Auntie Anna who at 85 is a dressmaker, made me my first costume the same as Patsy’s which her mother made for her.
You mentioned you’ve toured in the states with your act, would you like to tell me a bit more about that?
I had been talking to a lady in Texas “Terri Sharp” who had written songs for Don McLean. She had a record company and was interested in getting me over where she said Patsy was Queen there and that she thought it sounded like I was channelling Patsy. Terri suddenly passed away in Dec 2015 and in 2016, I was contacted by Joltin’ Jim McCoy (who was a disc jockey known for discovering Patsy when she was 14 years old). Jim asked if I would come play at his venue in West Virginia “The Troubadour” home of the West Virginia country music hall of fame. Jim remained friends with Patsy all her life and was pallbearer at her funeral. He also remained friends with Patsy’s husband Charlie Dick who passed in Nov 2015. Jim had been running an annual “Patsy Cline celebrations” event at The Troubadour for 53 years since her death. I played at the last one in the Troubadour Lounge on the Saturday night where I sang “I Fall to Pieces” while holding Jim’s hand and on the Sunday at the Troubadour Park, a large outdoor open event with other artists celebrating the life of Patsy Cline. There, I first met Patsy’s daughter Julie. I played a lot of other venues across W.V, V.A, P.A and M.D – Patsy’s old stomping ground including “The Moose Club” Patsy had sang in and met many of her friends, one in particular, a lady called Anna Louise who is now a friend of mine, showed me a letter Patsy had written to her saying “this singing lark ain’t for me” among other engrossing things and I did numerous radio and TV interviews in the four state region known as the Eastern panhandle. I visited Patsy’s grave and her old house in Winchester, Virginia which is now a museum and recreated a picture of Patsy sitting in the porch on a glider which was taken to the Patsy Cline museum in Nashville shortly after. Jim sadly passed away while I was there and I attended his wake. In 2018, I was contacted again by the new owners of the Troubadour who were going to carry on the traditions of the Patsy Cline Celebrations and wanted me back to do the first one since Jim’s passing. Again, Patsy’s daughter Julie came along and I played venues all over this time visiting 6 states over 5 weeks in August and September this year. My partner Derek and I are now going to make it an annual thing as I have been asked to do the Troubadour again in 2019 along with the Funny Farm and other venues I originally played at including the Elks Club, The Moose Club and the VFW (Veterans For War). I’ve also had interest from the P.A Opry who do a show with an eight piece band and a new venue in Boonsboro, Maryland which seats 750 people!
What’s your favourite song or album from Patsy Cline?
My favourite song is a song called “When I Get Through With You” as there is a line in the song where Patsy sings “Suzie will have to go”….When I was about six years old, my mother was playing this song singing along “Suzie will have to go” whilst pointing at the ceiling where my bedroom was implying that was my time for bed, but I remember jumping up and down on the couch screeching “no, no I have to hear the next song” and that’s when I got hooked on Patsy Cline records. I remember going with my paper round money when I was about 10 to the Barras to find my very own cassette tapes. I also love Patsy’s gospel songs which she is also said to have favoured.
And in general what other music do you like?
I have an eclectic taste from Bob Marley to Pink Floyd to Simon and Garfunkel to Madonna! I like most styles of music apart from heavy metal, I actually do a bit of rapping too! When I lived in London in my twenties, I was in a band UK Cartel and recorded an R’n’B track! I like the old country music, not particularly so much a fan of the new stuff, I like classic timeless stuff….like Patsy!
Lastly share any social media links so people can find you?
- Facebook – www.facebook.com/patsyclinetribute
- Twitter – www.twitter.com/patsyclinesuzie
- Email – Patsyclinetribute@hotmail.com
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/