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Rate-O-Rama: Crazy

Songmania Edition #14: Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt

By Rick Henry Christopher Published 3 months ago โ€ข 6 min read
Top Story - November 2023
Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt

Welcome to Rate-O-Rama

If you wish to receive a notice when the next Rate-O-Rama post is published please mention that you would like a notification in the comments section.

Rate-O-Rama : Songmania is a reader participation game.

Every Sunday I will publish a Rate-O-Rama article which will feature three versions of a popular song.

The object is to listen to each of the music videos provided within the post.

After listening to each video you can rate each song in the comments section below.

(You must be a member to comment. If you are not a member you can join Vocal Media for FREE. You donโ€™t ever have to pay for membership unless you choose to upgrade your membership)


The rating method is easy. Simply give each song a rating of 1 to 100.

(The more you like the song the higher the rating).

If possible, please provide a brief comment explaining the reasoning behind your ratings for each song.

After a week (Saturday evening) I will tally the ratings and in the next Rate-O-Rama post I will announce the winner from the previous post.

The winners will be determined on a scale of averages.


The Raffle!!!

I am taking the Rate-O-Rama series to the next level. At the end of each month I will do a raffle in which the winner will win a $5.00 tip.

To enter all you have to do is participate in playing the Rate-O-Rama game. Since R-O-R is updated every Sunday night in order to qualify you must play the game during it's initial seven day period with Sunday evening being the cutoff period.

For each game you play you will receive a ticket for the raffle. Therefore if you play all four games in the month you will have four chances to win.

The winner will not only win the $5 prize but I will feature your Vocal Profile on Vocal + Assist on both Facebook and Discord and you will be featured in the first R-O-R game of the month after your win.

The October 2023 Rate-O-Rama Raffle Winner:


Last week we featured the Modern Rock classic: "Hallelujah" as recorded by Coldplay (2002),Willie Nelson (2011), and Corinne Bailey Rare (2017).

The following are the average ratings for each song as resulted from the votes:

๐Ÿฅ‡ Corinne Bailey Rae: 81.9

๐Ÿฅˆ Coldplay: 75

๐Ÿฅ‰ Willie Nelson: 70.4


The Fourteenth Edition of Rate-O-Rama features three renditions of the Country Music classic: "Crazy."


Patsy Cline (1961)

Patsy Cline is considered one of the most influential vocalists of the 20th century and of all time.

From Wikipedia: Cline's husband Charlie Dick had previously taken her to a demo of Willie Nelson's "Night Life". Cline disliked the song, and she asked her husband not to bring her any more of Nelson's songs, saying that she did not want to record compositions that embraced vulnerability or loss of love. The persistent singer/songwriter/song promoter Hank Cochran drove Nelson to Cline's house with the demo of "Crazy". While Nelson waited in the car, Cochran played the song for Cline. Cline told Cochran to bring Nelson into the house, where he taught her to sing the song. Cline had difficulty following Nelson's phrasing because he sang behind the beat.

Producer Owen Bradley added The Jordanaires (Elvis Presley's backing singers) on background vocals.

Bradley asked Cline to sing the song in her style instead of Willie Nelson's style. She nailed it on the first take.

Patsy Cline took the song to #2 on both the US Country charts and US Adult Contemporary charts and #9 on the US Hot 100 Singles chart. She also made it to #8 in Canada as well as #14 in both the UK and Ireland.

In 2003, Cline's recording was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. In 1992, Patsy's version of "Crazy" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.


Willie Nelson (1962)

Nelson included his recording of โ€œCrazyโ€ on his debut studio album And Then I Wrote. The album also included his versions of โ€œFunny How Time Slips Awayโ€ and โ€œHello Wallsโ€ which were both huge hits for other artists.

The success of โ€œHello Wallsโ€ and โ€œCrazyโ€ allowed Nelson to become a recording artist in his own right.

Willie Nelson originally titled the song โ€œStupidโ€ but changed it to the more appealing "Crazy." Despite the song's popularity Nelson never released it as a single as Patsy Cline had only released it a year earlier and was still receiving radio airplay with the song.


Linda Ronstadt (1976)

Ronstadt included โ€œCrazyโ€ on her classic 1976 platinum-certified album Hasten Down the Wind. She released the song as the B-Side of โ€œSomeone To Lay Down Beside Me,โ€ which received moderate airplay on FM and Adult Contemporary radio formats but did not chart very high. Country music disc jockeys flipped the record and began playing โ€œCrazyโ€ which became a solid country music hit reaching #6 on the US Country charts and #2 on the Canadian Country charts.


My Thoughts


Patsy Cline: Classic!!! Patsy is an amazing vocalist. Her voice was instantly recognizable, strong, melodic, and crystal clear. Patsy was one of a kind. The classic tones of the Jordanaires gives the song that extra depth and personality. The tinkling piano brings the song an air of class. I love the smooth arrangement which fit well in the era shortly after the popularity of big bands from the 1940s through the early to mid 1950s. This one sounds great in one of those smokey jazz clubs, sipping on a glass of wine sitting at a table on an outdoor patio. I must give Patsy a 100.


Willie Nelson: Kudos to Willie for writing this all-time classic! Willie was a master at combining country and jazz and heโ€™s been doing it right from the beginning of his career as a recording artist. Nelson also looked back to the big band swing era for his musical arrangement. The addition of pedal steel guitar-like bends gives the song its country twang. Willieโ€™s voice works perfectly with this arrangement. He sings the song with a bit of heartbreak in his voice. His vocal jazz timing is fine in this recording. However he fully developed his jazz tinged vocals to full bloom with the release of his classic Stardust album released in 1978. I also give Willie 100 for his rendition.


Linda Ronstadt: To be honest I donโ€™t know whose vocal performance I like more, Linda's or Patsyโ€™s. Both are equally phenomenal. This is one of several songs Linda recorded in the 1970s which could be considered a predecessor to her classic โ€œWhatโ€™s Newโ€ album released in 1983. Ronstadt really puts the heartbreak into her powerful and perfectly pitched vocals. She does a beautiful job with the song. Dan Dugmoreโ€™s steel guitar brings out the country flavor of the song while Clarence McDonaldโ€™s acoustic piano adds a hint of jazz to the mix. The arrangement is pared down adding only Andrew Goldโ€™s (Thank You For Being A Friend) acoustic guitar and Mike Bottsโ€™ soothing jazz timed drums. Kenny Edwards, David Campbell, and producer Peter Asher kept the arrangement true to Patsyโ€™s and Willieโ€™s originals. This is a first for me, perfect trifecta but Linda Ronstadt also receives 100.


I will be back next week with the results of this Rate-O-Rama Edition.

Last Week's Rate-O-Rama:

With Love, RHC โค๏ธ

pop culturevintagesong reviewspophistoryfeaturecountry70s music60s music

About the Creator

Rick Henry Christopher

Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.

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Comments (27)

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  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    I think this is the first episode where itโ€™s too close to call for me. Yes, the women vocalists out sung willie, but he actually didnโ€™t do bad at all. And he definitely gets pts for writing the song. Patsy 96 Willie 95 Linda 96

  • J. Delaney-Howe3 months ago

    Patsy 100 Linda 90 Willie 80

  • Mona Yonus3 months ago

    Patsy 100

  • Tiffany Gordon 3 months ago

    Patsy 100 Willie 89 Linda 90 Congrats on your TOP STORY!

  • Dana Crandell3 months ago

    Patsy: 100 Linda: 95 (love her voice, but too much processing) Willie: 90 (Sing, Willie)

  • Novel Allen3 months ago

    Patsy 99, Willie 90, Linda 80. The music in Patti's soothes my soul, her pouty voice I like. Linda's is kinda gangsta/smooth. Willie is great, but I vote for soothing. Oh I missed Hallelujah...I love that song.

  • Grz Colm3 months ago

    Not a song Iโ€™ve heard a lot of to be honest yet.. Linda Ronstadt - 90 very soothing. Patty 89, excellent vocal Willie 75. Congrats on top story and another fun and quizzical entry Rick! ๐Ÿ˜„

  • How am I supposed to pick between these legends??? I love Lindaโ€™s voice so 100 for her and 99 for both willie and Patsy

  • Naveed 3 months ago

    Great going! Keep up the fantastic effortโ€”congratulations

  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I can't believe that I missed last week's! But I'm very much here this week. Hooray! Patsy Cline - the definitive version and I think the best. Her voice has a depth to it that is not as pronounced in the other versions. I also like the fact that it sounds very much of the time it was produced and yet timeless at the same time. How does it do that? 100/100 Willie - I was surprised to place this above Linda Ronstadt as I love her voice but Willie's vocal here moved me more and the country style felt right for the wistful longing of the song. 95/100 Linda - beautifully sung but I think that may be the problem that I have with it. It sounds too polished, too clear. I think if Linda's was the only version, you'd think it was a good song but the other two performers bring an extra something which brings it alive. 85/100 Love these, Rick! Keep them coming!

  • Muhammad Azhar3 months ago

    Gooj job, keep continue.

  • This one surprises me, having just listened to the three. I've never been big on Patsy Cline but was a fan of Linda Ronstadt growing up. But Patsy's version is stellar, Willie's Willie, & Linda occasionally went sharp (which was giving me a headache) & was a bit too processed. Patsy 100 Willie 100 Linda 85

  • Babs Iverson3 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!!๐Ÿ’•โค๏ธโค๏ธ

  • Lamar Wiggins3 months ago

    Congrats on your Top Story, RHC. Of course, I'll be back to rate the songs.

  • Scott Christenson3 months ago

    I'm not familiar with this song, will have to sit this round out. Had heard Linda Ronstadt, Long Long Time in an episode of The Last of Us which brought back how popular she was in the 80s!

  • Xine Segalas3 months ago

    I love this! I'm a newbie to your weekly fun, so this was so exciting to see - I love music and this has always been an all-time favorite. This was tough but here are my votes: Patsy 100 - Amazing all around Willie 90 Linda 95

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    I love Lindaโ€™s version best (love her!) so 100 for her, Patsy gets 98 and Willie gets 95. Great choice for the song, Rick!

  • JBaz3 months ago

    Congratulations Rick. And good luck to everyone who enters

  • Mariann Carroll3 months ago

    Congratulations Top Story ๐Ÿ’•I seat this one out. This song was Patsy a line, classic

  • Mother Combs3 months ago

    Patsy 100 Willie 99 Linda 97

  • JBaz3 months ago

    Believe it or not. Willies version was the first I heard. But then I heard Patsy sing it ...whole new level. this was the first for me to hear Linda's, and as you said that is tough , her voice is amazing. 1)- 95.7 Patsy Cline- When it comes down to two i have to go with the original 2)- 92.7. Linda beautiful but not original enough to break away 3)- 86. Willie Even though it was my first , Patsy and Linda sang it with more emotion

  • D. A. Ratliff3 months ago

    Not fair, Rick!!! 100+ across the board. Three of my favorite artists... a song I love. All three artists put their unique spin on this amazing song, but Patsy with her clear voice and amazing tone is by far my favorite.

  • Celia in Underland3 months ago

    Patsy 100 Willie 80 S'all right but hust doesn't have the depth of soul Linda 95 (quite chilling but no on knocks Patsy of her pedestal)

  • Hannah Moore3 months ago

    Ah, I feel bad about this. Patsy, it's a long time since I've heard this song and yet it's so familiar you forget to listen, but her vocal is amazing. I'm going to give her 95. Linda, surprisingly captivating, 94. Willie, I'm sorry, I'm only giving 70.

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