People we love: Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley) September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963

Born on this day in 1932.

One of the most successful and influential female vocalists of the 20th century, Patsy Cline was a country singer and part of the Nashville sound. She successful crossed over to pop music.

Patsy Cline is best known for some of her hits like “Walkin’ After Midnight” , “I Fall to Pieces” and “Crazy” her last hit was “Sweet Dreams” which was also the title of the movie of her life story starring Jessica Lange.

Patsy Cline was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1960. There she became one of the Opry’s biggest stars and became friends with and encouraged such up and coming female stars as Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, a sixteen-year-old Brenda Lee and a thirteen-year-old Barbara Mandrell.

Millions of records sold after her death. In 1973, ten years after she died she became the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Loretta Lynn, June Carter Cash and Dottie West said that Cline told them during 1962 and 1963 that she felt a sense of impending doom and that she did not expect to live much longer. She began giving away personal items and asking friends to care for her children should anything happen to her.

Cline was flying back to Nashville following a concert in a Piper Commanche. The flight refueled in Missouri and again in Dyersburg, Tennessee where the airfield manager suggested the spend the night to wait out the inclement weather. The Pilot was also her manager, Randy Hughes, who was not instrument trained. He determined that the flight should continue to Nashville.

The plane went down on the evening of March 5, 1963, just 90 miles from Nashville.

Patsy Cline was 30 years old.

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