The music of Patsy Cline lives on

Sandy Kelly as Patsy Cline

Sandy Kelly as Patsy Cline

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For many people, portraying their idol would be very daunting.

And for Irish singing star Sandy Kelly, the nerves haven’t diminished over the past 25 years.

Taking centre stage as country music sensation Patsy Cline in ‘The Concert She Never Gave’, the 62-year-old pays tribute to the songs and life and times of one of Nashville’s greatest stars.

The much-talked about show arrives in Scotland this weekend, and Sandy can’t wait to get up onstage.

“I love playing in Scotland, and grateful that you all want me back each year!” she said. “It’s great to be up there and doing this and singing such fantastic songs.”

It’s a role that she didn’t set out to get but came to her by chance.

Sandy said: “It was back in 1988 or ‘89 when I first recorded ‘Crazy’ which was Patsy’s biggest hit. I was a bit reluctant at first as I thought I was quite cool and wanted to record my own stuff! But now, as it’s opened so many doors for me, I’m so glad that I did.”

It was Sandy’s take on the iconic song that attracted the attention of another country superstar – Johnny Cash.

The Man in Black invited Sandy to tour the UK and US with him.

“It was surreal being out there with such a legend,” she said. “It was such a great experience.”

For the past quarter of a century, Sandy has emulated Patsy and received help from the people that knew her best.

“I met with Charlie, Patsy’s husband who showed me round their home in Virginia and I also spoke with friends and people who worked with her to get a real sense of who she was. This helped when it came to getting on stage as I didn’t just want to get up there and sing her songs and that be the end of the show. There’s songs, a bit of comedy and some tongue-and-cheek banter with the audience which all adds to the night which I hope everyone enjoys.”

Patsy way ahead of her time – a feminist before there was ever such a thing as Sandy explains.

“She didn’t just knock politely on the doors of country music, oh, no – she kicked them down!” she laughed. “She smoked, drank whisky and was a real force to be reckoned with – she was, and still is, a great role model.”

Sandy, who has been singing since she was just three-years-old, has her own career “her other job” as she puts it and will be releasing some of her own music in the future.

She said: “After the Patsy show is finished, I’ll be recording some bluegrass country stuff and hopefully heading out on tour some time soon – perhaps next spring. But for now it’s all about Patsy Cline and then I need a wee rest – and I’ve got a house to clean!” she laughed.

Patsy Cline: The Concert She Never Gave appears at Dundee Whitehall Theatre (April 9), Edinburgh King’s Theatre (April 10), Glenrothes Rothes Hall (April 12), Inverness Eden Court (April 13 and 14) and Glasgow Pavilion Theatre (April 15 and 16).

For tickets, click here chimes international.