This was written by Willie Nelson. He was a struggling country singer at the time and got a big break when Cline recorded this and made it a hit. It has become one of Nelson's most enduring songs. He covered the song for his own debut album, ...And Then I Wrote, in 1962.
A classic torch song, "Crazy" finds Cline despondent after losing her love, who has run off with someone else. She always knew it would never work between them, but she still can't get over it, which seems crazy, but happens to the best of us.
On an episode of VH1's Storytellers
, Willie Nelson revealed that this was originally titled "Stupid."
Cline was thrown through a windshield in a car accident two months before she recorded this (they didn't have seat belts back then). At the first session, she couldn't hit the high notes because of a broken rib, so the studio musicians recorded their parts without her. Two weeks later, she did her vocals while standing on crutches.
This was Cline's biggest hit. She died in a plane crash two years later at age 30.
In the UK, this was not a hit when it was first released, but went to #14 when it was re-released there in 1990.
Some of the many artists to cover this song include Dottie West, Vic Damone, Ray Price, Wanda Jackson, Linda Ronstadt, Julie Andrews, B.J. Thomas, Kidneythieves and Crystal Gayle. In 2003, Diana Krall covered it for the tribute album Remembering Patsy Cline.
Cline's version is the only one to chart in the US, but LeAnn Rimes took it to #36 in the UK in 1999 when she released it as a single from her self-titled album. Rimes' voice was often compared to the country legend's when she burst onto the country music scene in 1996 with her debut album, Blue, at age 13.
According to the Amusement And Music Operators Association, this was the most-played song on jukeboxes in the United States. Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock And Roll" was second and Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog
" was third.
According to Mojo magazine, Willie Nelson originally tried to sell this along with several other of his songs to country music singer Larry Butler for $10 a piece. Butler refused to take advantage, fortunately for Patsy Cline who, despite initially disliking "Crazy," made it into a huge hit. Both Cline's husband Charlie Dick and her producer Owen Bradley loved the song, and they that persuaded Cline to record it.
This has been featured on numerous TV shows, including Moonlighting, Quantum Leap, Cybill, Cold Case, and Fringe. It's also been used in the movies Desert Hearts (1985), Murder One (1988), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), Doc Hollywood (1991), Nell (1994), Tommy Boy (1995), Some Mother's Son (1996) and In & Out (1997).
Actress Beverly D'Angelo performed this when she played Patsy Cline in the 1980 Loretta Lynn biopic, Coal Miner's Daughter.