No charity needed for ‘Carnegie Hallbillies’

“[In 1961 Patsy Cline] was invited to appear on the Grand Ole Opry at Carnegie Hall, the first full-fledged country production at that cultural bastion….

“Dorothy Kilgallen, who wrote the syndicated ‘Voice of Broadway’ column for the Journal-American and was featured on CBS’s ‘What’s My Line?’,  took cheap shots almost daily at the coming of the ‘Carnegie Hallbillies.’

“On stage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Patsy had a few words for Kilgallen:  ‘We’re gonna be in high cotton next week — Carnegie Hall. That ole Dorothy Kilgallen wrote, “Everybody should get out of town because the hillbillies are coming!” At least we ain’t standing on New York street corners with itty-bitty cans in our hands collecting coins to keep up the opera and symphonies.’ ”

— From “Honky Tonk Angel: The Intimate Story of Patsy Cline” (1993) by Ellis Nassour