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.
Her funeral in Winchester, Virginia, attracted a crowd of 25,000 mourners. And even though Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins were bigger country stars with long careers and more hits, the press reported that “Patsy Cline and three others died” when reporting on the tragedy. This did not sit well with the survivors of the other three musicians.
Randy Hughes was the pilot who was responsible for killing three legendary country music performers. In addition to being a fine guitar player and performer, he was married to Cowboy Copas’s daughter and manager to Patsy Cline. Oh, I almost forgot – Cline and Hughes were also lovers.
Patsy was married twice. Her first husband, Gerald Cline, was a dull, puffy man who offered little beyond the promise (largely unful- filled) of financial security. Her second husband Charlie Dick — Patsy’s true love of sorts — was an abusive, hard-drinking loser who sometimes humiliated her on stage; theirs was an unlikely match that puzzled her friends. Charlie died in 2015 at his Nashville home. Patsy Cline’s daughter Julie remains publicly involved with preserving the memory of her late mother while Randy Dick, Patsy’s son, stays under the radar and plays drums with a local Nashville band.
Final Resting Place:
Shenandoah Memorial Park
1270 Front Royal Park
Winchester, Virginia, 22602
Grave Location:Dick Family Plot
Grave Location Description
As you enter the cemetery opposite Laurelwood Drive, take the first right and drive 200 feet and park. Patsy Cline is buried 2 rows from the road and the simple flat marker is always adorned with flowers.
Grave Location GPS39.12915668910608, -78.15963474075052
Read More About Patsy Cline:
- Wikipedia Entry
- Scott Michaels at FindaDeath.com with an extensive photo montage of Patsy Cline
- The Tragic Real Life Story of Patsy Cline
- Inside The Sudden Death Of Patsy Cline, Country Music’s Rising Star Of The 1960s
- Charlie Dick Dies in His Sleep at Age 81
- Patsy Cline's Children are Keeping Their Mother's Country Legacy Alive
- Patsy Cline’s Death Was the Most Tragic Day in Music History
- Remembering Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins on the Anniversary
- NTSB official review of the plane crash