50 Years Ago Today: Goodbye Patsy

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

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

Country Music legend Patsy Cline, a Virginia native, died in a plane crash on this day 50 years ago. She was 30 years old.

Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1999, she was voted number 11 on VH1’s special, The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll, by members and artists of the rock industry. In 2002, country music artists and industry members voted her Number One on CMT’s The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and ranked 46th in the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” issue of Rolling Stone magazine. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, “Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity.” [Wikipedia]

Patsy Cline’s friends, Dottie West, June Carter Cash and Loretta Lynn recall that Cline had an impending sense of doom and did not expect to live much longer. She began giving away her personal items.

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.

This footage of Cline on The Glenn Reeves Show is from an appearance just 10 days prior to her death.

Patsy is one of the People We Love.

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