"Country Music is Three Chords and the Truth"
"I Fall to Pieces"
Few can say they wrote for Patsy Cline, and even fewer can say they penned a country standard. When Howard was in California, another writer, Hank Cochran, thought of the song title one night. Howard came over the next day to write it with Cochran, and the song became one of Cline's most recognizable singles. Howard assisted the recording process, quoted saying,
"On the night of the session, we absolutely did NOT want to do the standard 4:4 shuffle that had by then been done to death. We were trying all kinds of other (basic rhythm) combinations, but they all just laid there and bled all over the floor. So, it had to be the shuffle then, like it or not. But the amazing thing was, once Patsy got into the groove, she just caressed those lyrics and that melody so tenderly that it was just like satin. We knew we had magic in the can when, on the fourth take, every grown man in that studio was bawling like a baby and Bradley said `That's the one.'"
Cline personally requested this song from Howard and Cochran, and the tune helped in her pop-country crossover. The hit had the slowest chart ascension and one of the slowest chart descensions ever. Cline's invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry as a regular cast member can be partially attributed to this single's remarkable success.
In 2004, "I Fall to Pieces" was placed at #238 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, listed at #107 on RIAA's list of Songs of the Century, and ranked at #7 on CMT's television special 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music.