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August 20, 2014

You'll fall to pieces when Waterloo woman sings Patsy Cline

Shanna Jean Fredrick has been singing Patsy Cline for more than 20 years, but only recently did she decide to become an impersonator.

The 38-year-old Waterloo woman got the idea from husband Bob, who hired a seamstress to make her a Western outfit patterned off one that Patsy Cline wore.

"(Shanna) does Patsy Cline really well," said Bob, 40, district manager for loss prevention at Marshalls. "She can sing all her songs. She sounds like her, and when she dresses up, I think she resembles her."

Shanna is one of six impersonators who will perform at a Tribute to the Country Music Legends Show from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday at Collinsville Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall.

Other acts include Mathieu Ethington, of Nebraska, as Johnny Cash; Jerry Stevenson, of Missouri, as George Jones; Rudy Grant, of Colorado, as Charley Pride; Diane Brown, of Missouri, as Loretta Lynn; and Dude Brown, of Missouri, as Hank Williams Sr.

The show is being produced by the Traditional Country Music Foundation.

"We're trying to keep traditional country music alive," said Founding President Margaret Penn, 72, of Caseyville. "People always say, 'Traditional country music is dead.' Well, it's not. It's not dead. It's just that the radio stations aren't playing it."

Shanna will take the stage in her red skirt and vest with white fringe and horse appliques; a brunette wig, cowboy hat and white boots.

Shanna not only enjoys singing Patsy Cline, she admires the country superstar, who crossed over into pop before dying in a 1963 plane crash in Tennessee. She was 30.

"I think she was a strong woman who worked very hard doing what she loved to do," Shanna said.

"Familywise, she was a good mom. It's just sad that she had to go so young. I would have loved to meet her. She was a no-nonsense kind of gal."

Shanna is a stay-at-home mom with two children, 12-year-old Sean Yokley and 16-year-old Samantha Yokley.

She admits she "couldn't stand" Patsy Cline when she first started listening as a girl. But her mother, Annette Duncan, was a fan.

At some point, Shanna saw the light. Annette started noticing her Patsy Cline albums and 45 records disappearing.

"She would be upstairs listening to them and singing to them," said Annette, 58, of rural Waterloo. "She would memorize them very fast."

Shanna was a chorus member and soloist in school. At 16, she began performing during happy hour at nightclubs in St. Louis.

She covered artists in all genres, including Patsy Cline.

"The club owners allowed me to perform, as long as my parents were with me," she said.

After graduating from Waterloo High School in 1994, Shanna moved to Columbia, Mo., to join the band Missouri's Most Wanted, which once opened for Johnny Cash.

She later performed a couple years with Dixie Express in the St. Louis area, then quit the music business to focus on motherhood.

Shanna got back into singing a couple of years ago, when Margaret booked her for a show.

"She's really good," husband Bob said. "She gets lots of compliments. People want her to go down to Nashville and sing, but there's never been a time when we were able to go down there."

At a glance

What: Tribute to the Country Music Legends Show

Where: Collinsville Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall, 1234 Vandalia

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday

Producer: Traditional Country Music Foundation

Impersonations: Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn and Hank Williams Sr.

Tickets: $15 (free for children under 12)

Information: Call Margaret Penn at 618-792-3335

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