Cowboy Copas

The Waltz King of the Grand Ole Opry
Birth Name:
Lloyd Estel Copas
Birth Date:
July 15, 1913
Birth Place:
Blue Creek, Ohio
Death Date:
March 5, 1963
Place of Death:
2904 Mt Carmel Road, Camden, Tennessee
Cause of Death:
Plane crash
Cemetery Name:
Forest Lawn Memorial Garden
Claim to Fame:
Cowboy Copas was an American country music singer who was popular from the 1940s until his death in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins. In 1943 Copas achieved national fame when he replaced Eddy Arnold as a vocalist in the Pee Wee King band, and began performing on the Grand Ole Opry. His first solo single, "Filipino Baby", released by King Records in 1946, hit number four on the Billboard country chart, and sparked the most successful period of his career. While continuing to appear on the Opry, Copas recorded several other hits during the late 1940s and early 1950s, including "Signed Sealed and Delivered", "The Tennessee Waltz", "Tennessee Moon", "Breeze", "I'm Waltzing with Tears in My Eyes", "Candy Kisses", "Hangman's Boogie", and "The Strange Little Girl". Copas' 1952 single, "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered", reached number eight on the Billboard country chart, but it was his final top-40 hit for eight years. Although Copas did not maintain his popularity of the late 1940s through the next decade, he continued to perform regularly at the Grand Ole Opry, and appeared on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee. After a lackluster partnership with Dot Records, Copas surged to the top of the charts again in 1960 with the biggest hit of his career, "Alabam", which remained number one for three months.

Not-So-Fun Facts

On March 3, 1963, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas performed at a benefit concert at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas for the family of disc jockey “Cactus” Jack Call, who had died in January after an automobile accident. Among the performers was Billy Walker, who received an urgent phone call and needed to return to Nashville immediately. Hawkins gave Walker his commercial airline ticket and instead flew back in a private plane in Walker’s place.

On March 5th, at 6:29 pm, the aircraft crashed into a wooded, swampy area 1 mile north of U.S. Route 70 and 5 miles west of Camden. The aircraft was destroyed on impact and all four occupants were killed. The witness described hearing a dull-sounding crash, followed by complete silence. Investigators concluded that the crash was caused by the non-instrument-rated pilot’s decision to operate under visual flight rules in instrument meteorological conditions.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Forest Lawn Memorial Garden

1150 Dickerson Pike

Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 37072


North America

Grave Location:

Copas Family Plot

Grave Location Description

As you enter the cemetery the office will be on your right and you will take the first left and drive 100 feet to the sign for “Music Row.” Walk 10 feet past the Music Row sign and in this very narrow section along the road you will come upon the “Frizzell” family bronze marker where country artist Lefty Frizzell is buried. Now cross the street and you will come upon the graves of Cowboy Copas and Randy Hughes side by side. Randy was the pilot in the crash that took the lives of Copas, Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins. He is also the son-in-law of Cowboy Copas.

Grave Location GPS

36.295652396326545, -86.72574500017497



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