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.
Final Resting Place:
Forest Lawn Memorial Garden
1150 Dickerson Pike
Goodlettsville, Tennessee, 37072
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.