By Amber Hanneken
When Hugo’s Stacie Pace takes the stage, Patsy Cline comes alive.
It all began about five years ago when Pace was asked to perform at a senior citizens’ Valentine’s banquet in Clayton. Mark McIntosh, a former Pushmataha County commissioner who had seen her perform, asked if she would do an all-Patsy Cline set. After her performance, a woman told Pace she had missed her calling and that she was meant to play Cline.
She returned home and did some research. Longtime Hugo Chamber of Commerce tourism supporter Walter White was instrumental in getting her started with Pasty Cline performances, she said.
“It’s funny if I just sing I sound like Patsy without even trying,” Pace said. “And that is a great compliment that someone thinks that. It’s kind of like I was born into the wrong era for the music.”
Besides having the voice, Pace wanted the look. She sought out a seamstress and found DeeDee Atwood of Cloudy, who normally designs clothing for dogs. Atwood made a set of cowgirl outfits that Pace pairs with white boots and a brunette wig for her shows. She hopes to eventually incorporate some of the more “modern” fashions Cline wore into her performance.
She has performed as Cline before a crowd of about 7,000 at the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association meeting the last four years and in Choctaw County she’s performed before big crowds at the Choctaw Electric annual meeting. She said she gets calls from all over, including Nashville, just to see her perform as Cline.
Steve McKinley, director of operations of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, wrote in a recent letter to Pace, “We always receive positive comments on your performance and encouragement to keep you coming back.”
Pace says she most enjoys singing “Sweet Dreams” because of the long notes. She also enjoys “Walking After Midnight” because she makes audience members dance and contribute and the crowd always enjoys “Crazy.”
Pace has been singing and dancing since she was young, beginning at church where her father was the pastor. She graduated with a degree in drama and chorale from Southeastern Oklahoma State University, after which she toured Texas and Oklahoma with a band, performing Top 40 country western charts.
Following her marriage to husband, Scott, Pace settled down back in Hugo and began performing in local venues, quickly becoming known as a Patsy Cline impersonator.
“It’s so rewarding because it touches people’s lives and they just seem to remember something, what they were doing, or someone. I even have kids as young as 8 years old who are huge fans and their mom says they go and buy all the (Patsy Cline) CDs. Wherever they go, if they see a Patsy CD, they buy it.”
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