I'm as happy as anyone that these classic Patsy performances from 1950's and early 1960's television have finally made their way to DVD - the full numbers, not just snippets like on the Patsy documentaries. But this DVD loses some it's charm with the extras herein.
1. Too much commentary by Robert Oerrman. Do we need to hear this guy's opinion on every Patsy performance here? He is rather repetitive too (how many times does he say "she owns this song" or something similar). We don't need him to tell us she gives a great performance on a track, we can hear that ourselves!! Maybe some sort of introduction was needed but I don't see why it couldn't have just been a segment at the start of the DVD and not before every song.
2. Song titles on the screen. Do we need this? I mean first of all we've got Oerrman telling us what is coming up. Then we've got on most of the performances, the original introductions from the long-ago hosts telling us what she is going to sing, and finally we've got the menu chapters telling us which songs are which. Do we need to have the song's name on the screen, too then??
3. Poor choice of menu chapter starts. The Oerrman intros wouldn't be so bad if the menu chapters would ignore them and jump right to Patsy's performance - that's what chapters are for to get right to the good stuff. But you've got to sit through Oerrman everytime you want to hear a particular song by Patsy if you don't fast forward. Seesh!!
Picture quality of the vintage films are all over the place, from stunningly flawless (the Town House party appearances which look better than most 1950's movies) to pretty bad and scratchy on some tracks. But this is how these films and/or kinescopes exist, so cherish them in any form. One strange song selection is "I Saw the Light" which is sung by Ernest Tubb and features an all-star singalong on the chorus including Patsy, June Carter, Chet Atkins, Jean Shepard, Ferlin Husky - and Tony Bennett (!!!!!!) This would be a fascinating track but it's not the full number unfortunately and Patsy in fact is only spotted briefly on the film. This is one track we could have used some more information on - did Bennett go to Nashville or did Nashville go to New York for this appearance? I guess we should be greatly it's here in any form but it will certainly leave you wanting more. Also odd is the second version of "Walking After Midnight" which Patsy sings wonderfully but the foolish long-ago TV director has her cast as a fabric shop owner going about her business as she sings to herself - Patsy never looks up once or at the camera during the whole number!! And what makes it most exasperating is the print quality on this number is outstanding!
Don't let my criticisms of the DVD's production scare you off of this DVD. It's truly a treasure for Patsy fans and we certainly should be greatful these films of "The Cline" exist. Hopefully more will surface for a volume two.