By Mike Freeman and Cindy Hazen


In Her Own Words

A collection of 48 letters written from 1955-1959 by country recording artist Patsy Cline to her first fan club president and friend, Treva Miller, gives us a rare opportunity to experience the complicated woman behind the songs. There are photographic reproductions of the actual letters with transcriptions in normal text.
Patsy Cline’s story — both professional and personal — unfolds in this collection of revealing and highly personal letters. In her own words, Patsy writes of the recording sessions, television appearances and tours; but behind the glamor she writes candidly about having flat tires, not getting paid (even after her big hit “Walkin’ After Midnight”), her relationships, and what it’s like to be a housewife while building a career as a serious recording artist.

The introduction is written by country music sensation Margo Price, a Nashville-based singer-songwriter, who became an overnight success with her album, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. When not appearing solo with her band, she joins Chris Stapleton, Tim McGraw and Willie Nelson on their tours.


The bond between country music artists and their fans is unique … Patsy Cline: In Her Own Words shines a light on this relationship in a way that few books can capture. Starting as a fan writing a letter expressing an interest in Cline as an admirer, Treva Miller and Patsy Cline’s relationship evolved into Miller becoming Cline’s fan club manager. But their friendship was more than that. Based on Patsy’s letters to Treva, they became close friends and Patsy confided in Treva many personal matters, as well as hopes for her career. If you want to get to know Patsy as a person, and not just the star, there’s no better read than her letters to her friend, Treva Miller.

– Alan Stoker, Curator of Recorded Sound Collections, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum/Country Music Foundation.


Here’s Patsy Cline — before she became a legend, really before she even became a star. Millions know Patsy as one of country music’s greatest voices: What a joy to hear an entirely different facet of that voice, one full of youthful ambition, hopes, and dreams.

Brian Mansfield, country music historian and author of Remembering Patsy.


Patsy Cline, writing to Treva Miller—her very first fan club president—shares her youthful hopes and dreams. The growing friendship and connection between these two young women deepens over the few years they worked together to bring Patsy’s music to a large audience. Reading Patsy’s own vivid words we can imagine her long hours on the road driving between gigs, her toiling in the studio, and the demands of television and radio. We see the breakup of one marriage (“He told me if I was gonna sing, I wasn’t going to live with him. So I’m back home.”) We see Patsy falling in love again. With the reproductions of the handwritten originals, her emotions are all the more vivid. We also see 1950’s social media at work, the money, time and effort needed for Treva to connect and expand the fan base. That tragedy should strike down both Treva and Patsy makes the letters all the more poignant. The editors have done an excellent job offering essential contexts. Patsy Cline in Her Own Words is an important first-person contribution to mid-century American culture, and the inner life of an icon.

– Laura Kalpakian, author of Memory into Memoir.

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