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CBS (ended 1967)

Kilgallen Called Legend Patsy Cline A Hick?

  • Avatar of KommissarX

    KommissarX

    [1]Jul 14, 2007
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    Like many of you - Dorothy Kilgallen is my favorite on WML, however I want to always keep an open mind when learning more about her or any other person I admire. You can't always believe what is written about a person, however I will trust Dorothy's own words. I've learned that when legendary singer - Patsy Cline played atCarnegie Hallwith other country legends in the early 60's - Dorothy called them hicks and advised most New Yorkers to leave town to avoid the event. But before I make a judgment on this, I would like to see Dorothy's entire column on the subject. Does anyone have a link to the whole story or can you post her entire comments. What little I'm finding on the Internet is disturbing from quotes by Dorothy from "hicks in the sticks" to "Carnegie Hall use to have music." Again - I'm as big of a Kilgallen fan that you'll find and as her final show approaches on GSN, there is great sadness. But I would like to know the whole story and not just be blinded by the magic of nostalgia. I've been viewing the show with my son for several years. He has never been as enthusiastic about the show as I have, a typical response for a 19 year old living in 2007 and I don't fault him for it. He even kids me from time to time by asking what I see in the show. After watching an episode he sometimes comments that Dorothy appears to be a snob and thinks she is better than some people. I have always defendedDorothy as being just the opposite. Then I stumbled across the "hicks from the sticks" article. Yes, it is only one column, but much is revealed in one's own words. Tell me it ain't so Dorothy!

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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [2]Jul 15, 2007
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    It's also been said that at that Carnegie Hall concert, Miss Cline, in quoting Miss Kilgallen's words, referred to her as writing for The New York Times.
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [3]Jul 16, 2007
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    I can see how someone as refined as Dorothy, who travelled in circles of the social elite, would call any country and western singers "hicks" (especially in those days, when people may not have explored a diversity of entertainment interests). I don't think this is an instance where we need to choose sides. Dorothy was probably commenting on the fact that country artists were not routinely booked into that venue (and if I perceive Cline's comments on stage correctly, I believe she took it with good humor). After all, even the Grand Ol' Opry has been pretty, um, selective about who is allowed on that hallowed stage.

    Also, I seem to remember someone along the lines of Hugh O'Brien was on around the time he was playing Wyatt Earp on TV, and the panel seemed a little snobbish about the fact that an actor of his caliber was doing a TV western. I think that was just the way people regarded "western"-related things back then. My parents, for instance, "hated" The Beatles back in the sixties, but have come around to appreciating them in modern times. I don't think they ever really "hated" them, as much as they felt their generation was supposed to "hate" them. (I hope I explained that properly.)

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  • Avatar of KommissarX

    KommissarX

    [4]Jul 16, 2007
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    Well said TVGord. You are exactly right.
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  • Avatar of TVGord

    TVGord

    [5]Jul 16, 2007
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    Thank you, KommissarX. It's an interesting facet of Dorothy's personality that you raise (if, as you say, it's true). Also, as you pointed out, it is good to know the foibles of the people we admire. It's never good to make them out to be perfect angels, in my opinion. If we deify people too much, we're not really remembering themas they are, are we?

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  • Avatar of W-B

    W-B

    [6]Jul 16, 2007
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    TVGord wrote:
    I can see how someone as refined as Dorothy, who travelled in circles of the social elite, would call any country and western singers "hicks" (especially in those days, when people may not have explored a diversity of entertainment interests). I don't think this is an instance where we need to choose sides. Dorothy was probably commenting on the fact that country artists were not routinely booked into that venue (and if I perceive Cline's comments on stage correctly, I believe she took it with good humor). After all, even the Grand Ol' Opry has been pretty, um, selective about who is allowed on that hallowed stage.

    Also, I seem to remember someone along the lines of Hugh O'Brien was on around the time he was playing Wyatt Earp on TV, and the panel seemed a little snobbish about the fact that an actor of his caliber was doing a TV western. I think that was just the way people regarded "western"-related things back then. My parents, for instance, "hated" The Beatles back in the sixties, but have come around to appreciating them in modern times. I don't think they ever really "hated" them, as much as they felt their generation was supposed to "hate" them. (I hope I explained that properly.)


    You also raise an interesting point in this sense: In those days, there wasn't anybody in (specifically in this context) the country-music field that had the self-important, take-oneself-seriously-at-all-times, see-no-humor-in-anything posture of, say, a Garth Brooks. Most country artists then, it appears, would've been more along the lines of Miss Cline in that kind of magnanimous, let's-have-some-fun approach to things like that. Moreover, I could see why some people today would assume Patsy would've supposedly "taken exception" - because of Dorothy's feuds with Frank Sinatra, Jack Paar et al., as well as the kind of comments Sinatra made about Miss Kilgallen at his concerts, and the lingering enmity betwixt the two of them that may have partly explained Frank's waiting until a year after she died before he appeared on WML? But that is true, back in late 1961 country music wasn't as much "exposed" in big cities such as New York as they would later be - something which is pretty much forgotten today. (Though folk music was, to a certain degree.)

    Indeed, in general, people seemed to have more of a "good humor" about things back then than today's generation seems to have, what with litigation-happiness, celebs who get into brawls with paparazzi, copyright laws and the particular way they're interpreted, and so forth - in short, a completely different era from now. Otherwise, I'd second the comments of the other individual who'd concurred with your assessment.

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  • Avatar of stopettearoma

    stopettearoma

    [7]Jul 17, 2007
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    Because Dorothy died so many years ago, people have repeated misquotations of her words. The misquotations happened many years ago.

    I haven't seen a Xerox of the column she wrote about Patsy Cline's 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall.

    You would have toXerox it and take it to a computer in order to share your reaction of what Dorothy actually said.

    Unless you have the patience for an interlibrary loan, you have to be in one of the following cities toXerox what Dorothy said: New York City (Manhattan only), Washington, DC or Austin, Texas.

    Those cities have the New York Journal American on microfilm. Maybe you're thinking that Dorothy's column was syndicated to a newspaper that you can find near you, but remember that the Journal American was the only paper that published everything she wrote for the column. The Hearst syndication company often deleted stuff thatit assumed would have little interest outside of New York. Unless the Nashville Tennesseean carried the Voice of Broadway, which I don't know, then Hearst editorseasily could have deemed her comments on the Carnegie Hall concert to hold insufficient interest for those outside the Big Apple. Even if country music fans were willing to travel to Manhattan, by the time they readabout the concert in the Voice of Broadway, it was over.Newspapers got thecolumn fromthe Hearst syndication company (King Features Syndicate) when it was two to four days old.

    Four months before Dorothy died, the gossip section of Newsweek misquoted her. The magazine's editors evidently wanted its readers to know about a charity ball that took place recently in a castle in Dublin, Ireland. They read Dorothy's report of it in her column and used that as a source, quoting her as saying, "The ball was a bore." If you find that particular column on microfilm, however, you see that shespent several paragraphs describing the outdoor tents that covered the buffet tables, and toward the end she suggested that the music occasionally got a little boring. Newsweek told you that Princess Grace of Monaco travelled to Dublin for the event, but it forgot to tell you that she was of Irish heritage, as was Dorothy Kilgallen.

    That misquotation happened when she was alive, so imagine what people started doing to Dorothy after she died.She supposedly agreed with Joe McCarthy, she supposedly said this, that. Also,less than two years after the Carnegie Hall concert, Patsy Cline lost all opportunities to recall the incident with her fans. Unless someone audio-recorded the concert, we'll never know how much anger, if any, she had toward Dorothy.

    Microfilmed copies of the Journal American arenecessary here. If you are in any of those cities, then you also can read exactly what Dorothy said about the assassination.People have twisted it. The audio of a TVtalk show called "Hot Line" becomes relevant here, too. It started many months after theCline incident, soDorothy doesn't talk about that on the show, but she does say that herviews on the assassination are not necessarily the same asthose of Mark Lane, the first conspiracy theorist. People have said falsely thatshe went along with everything he said.

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