Remembering Patsy Cline, 50 Years After Her Fatal Plane Crash

Categories: Miles-tones

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On March 5, 1963, country singers Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins died in a plane crash near Camden, Tennesee, about 90 miles west of Nashville. Around 6:20 p.m., their Piper Comanche PA-24 aircraft slammed into the ground, killing everyone on board instantly and leaving a six-foot-deep hole.

Randy Hughes, who was flying the aircraft, was not an instrument-rated pilot and could not steer his way through the adverse weather, dooming the plane.

The 50th anniversary of the horrific plane crash that took the trio and Hughes gives us a chance to look back on the legacy of Cline, who is still one of the most-beloved and influential female country singers ever. All three artists died as members of the Grand Ole Opry.

Hawkins was married to singer Jean Shepard at the time of the crash, and Cline left behind her second husband, Charlie Dick, and children Julie and Randy. All three of Cline's immediate family members are still active in her estate.

Cline's voice endures into the 21st century, with her hits and compositions still able to stop a clock. "Walkin' After Midnight," written by Alan Block and Donn Hecht and released in 1957, was her first taste of chart success.

Her 1961 take on Willie Nelson's "Crazy" is easily her best-known song. Nelson once said that the song was originally titled "Stupid," which doesn't have the same romance as "crazy."

The song followed the Hank Cochran/Harlan Howard-penned "I Fall to Pieces" onto the charts, solidifying Cline's star status. At this point she became a pop crossover artist.

The next year's "She's Got You," also written by Cochran, is easily her most heart-weary single. The line "I've got your memory / Or has it got me?" is still one of the most gut-wrenching in modern music. Cline's signature phrasing cuts like a knife.

In the years before Cline's death, she was one of country music's highest-paid acts, male or female, and was a pioneer for women in the genre, mentoring Loretta Lynn along the way.



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5 comments
leegeddy2011
leegeddy2011

Let me correct Linda Radner, that was Gilda Radner who is still alive & married to Gene Wilder. 

leegeddy2011
leegeddy2011

i have to say that this will be a shock to you all, but after extreme research & a little help from a friend , this whole plane crash was a hoax, & yes , on the 33rd anniversary ,Cowboy Copas not only didn't die on the plane with PATSY but was at the tribute as Johnny Wright (HANGING WITH KITTY WELLS) , on top of that he plays Patsy's widower, i mean look at the name of her husband= CHARLIE DICK !! . he is Cowboy Copas people & this is not a joke !!!! fact!! Patsy is REALLY MARY REEVES (WIFE OF JIM REEVES who played Lee Harvey Oswald<<& Mary also played OSWALDS WIFE MARINA !! FACT!! Jean Shepard couldn't even remember when her kid was born when asked??? He was born a month after Hawkshaw Hawkins was killed (her late husband)!!! WHAT????? Troy Odel ,,the policeman that was also there & alleged was 1st on the scene of the crash ,,IS HAWKSHAW HAWKINS !! The lies are coming out 50 years after the JFK hoax ,, wellaware1.com, go there & learn the sad truth about these liars !! Every witness ,news reporter, u name it, were Grand Ole OPRY muscians & actors we know today like Chuck Berry, Dolly Parrton,Little Richard,Dion,Carl Perkins,etc etc etc that played these roles & got fame for playing these roles as part of the JFK HOAX !! do the research !!! I'm just a messenger. All these musicans are owned by a corporation, once their time is up. they give up the role & take on another one ,most of them are still alive , SRV ,Freddy Mercury,Linda Radner,John Belushi,Chris Farley (mayor of Toronto) ,, the list goes on & on . Julie Fudge plays Oswalds Daughter, just look at the 2 of them !! we have been duped for over 50+ years !! Not anymore!

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