"I wish I could go back
to my home neighborhood,
where the good folks,
they all love you as their own."
Those were the lyrics to the 1955 song, "Come On In And Make Yourself At Home," by country music's ballad-belting superstar Patsy Cline.
So, when I found out that her home, in Goodlettsville, Tenn. (a suburb outside of Nashville), was on the market, I did just that … made myself at home … in the kitchen … at the piano … and in the living room.
Tom Courtois and his spouse, Steven, owned the house – known as "Patsy Cline's Dream Home" – since 2011.
Click on the video player below to watch Roman Feeser's report:
"The main thing is the bathroom, is all original," Courtois said, "[It] was her pride and joy. Because of the stories I heard is that, when somebody came to visit her, she would take them and show them her bathroom."
Sadly, Steven passed away last year, and Tom made the difficult decision to sell the historic home. "Steven loved decorating and bringing things back to that mid-century look, and this house was the perfect style for that. I can tell you they were four layers of wallpaper everywhere, so it took almost 3 years to restore the house back to life again the way it used to be."
For Tom and Steven, the restoration was a labor of love.
"Some of the other things, you know, the other owners had carpeted. I took the carpeting out, you know, the hardwood floors are still original. They've never been refinished," he said. "The dining room mural, we had to replace because it wasn't there anymore. … But we tried to save as much of the original decor as possible."
Cline's house had been purchased with royalties from her chart-topping hits like "Walking After Midnight," "Crazy," and "I Fall To Pieces." However, the country music songstress' life in the home – roughly 10 months – was cut short, after her untimely death in a plane crash 90 miles outside of Nashville.
Her daughter, Julie Fudge, remembered: "We moved in here in May of 1962," she told Feeser. "And then, when mom passed away in March of 1963, we didn't continue to live here, my brother and I, on a consistent basis."
Her father sold the house in 1966.
"This isn't the first time I've been back in 50-something years. But as I came up the sidewalk, I was reminded of the day my furniture got here. I think I was three, 1962. And it was in the spring, and we had picked out furniture for most of the house and my bedroom was coming. And so, I ran up the sidewalk and fell and skinned my knee, of course. Well, my mother and my grandmother were here. And what did you do? You cleaned it off and you put Mercurochrome on it. Now, Mercurochrome didn't burn like MethylAid. but it did make your knee orange. So, I had this little orange spot on my knee, and then they set up my pretty French provincial bedroom with the canopy and the little desk-type of vanity with the chair and the white cushiony seat. And of course, I went in there and climbed up on it with my orange knee and left a mark on it the first day."
For Courtois, the idea of leaving this historic home has not been easy. "I enjoy living in the house. It's a testament to the longevity of Patsy Cline that it's still here, and she's just as popular as other [stars] with such a short career. It's hard. After 10 years, you put your heart and soul into it. But it's time for someone else to take the reins."
Story produced by Roman Feeser.
For more info:
- Patsy Cline Museum, Nashville
- Photos courtesy of the Patsy Cline Museum
for more features.