Bill Miller, founder of the Johnny Cash Museum, and his wife, Shannon, have announced plans to open a museum honoring the country legend Patsy Cline, who died in 1963.
The museum will be funded entirely by the Miller family organization, with construction scheduled to begin in June.
“Of all the artists in the history of country music, few are as recognized and as recognizable as Patsy Cline,” Bill Miller said in a statement.
“Despite the fact that (Patsy) passed decades ago, her impact and presence are every bit as big today as ever. She has transcended generations and genres and is indisputably the greatest and most influential female country music artist of all time. She’s a true icon deserving of her own museum. Her fans from around the globe will have a place to come and celebration her life and legacy. It’s a pleasure and an honor to be working with Patsy’s children on this world-class museum project.”
Julie Fudge, Patsy Cline’s daughter, added, “I am very happy to speak on behalf of my brothers, Randy and Chip, in honor of the legacy of my mother, Patsy Cline. Since the passing of our father last fall, this is our first step together in continuing to share mom’s music, life and story, as we feel dad would have. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with and experience what Bill will present to old and new fans alike.”
The museum will occupy several thousand square feet directly above the Johnny Cash Museum in the heart of downtown Nashville (119 Third Ave.). The exhibits will feature interactive, cutting-edge audio and touch screen video technology. The family of Patsy Cline is currently furnishing many never-before-seen pieces from their personal archive, allowing the museum to host the largest collection of rare Patsy Cline artifacts in the world, including many of Cline’s personal possessions, costumes, awards, letters, furniture and photographs.
“I’m grateful for Bill Miller’s leadership in helping to preserve and showcase Nashville’s history, and I’m looking forward to visiting the new museum and learning more about the remarkable life and career of Patsy Cline,” said Nashville mayor Megan Barry.
The “Walking After Midnight” singer was a crucial part of the 1960s sound and broke barriers in Nashville as the first female to successfully record and chart “cross-over” pop hits while mirroring the iconic level of stardom of her male peers Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, and Elvis Presley before the infamous plane that took her life in 1963.