A Walk Through The Final Moments In The Life Of Patsy Cline

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Retracing Patsy Cline’s Final Moments On Earth

Patsy Cline is regarded as one of the most successful and influential country artists in history. With her beautiful voice and timeless songs, Cline helped pave the way for female artists in the genre. She continues to serve as an inspiration to many.

In 2002, CMT named Cline as the greatest female country singer on its 40 Greatest Women of Country Music special.

Rolling Stone also honored Cline by placing her in the 46th spot in its issue on the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She later landed at the 13th spot on the publication’s expanded and updated 200 Greatest Singers of All Time list.

This list recounts the final moments in the life of country singer Patsy Cline, pictured here. She died in a plane crash on March 5, 1963.
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Cline managed to earn her iconic status with only three studio albums and a small collection of singles.

That’s because on March 5, 1963, Cline was killed in a plane crash while flying from Kansas City to Nashville.  Cline’s manager Randy Hughes and fellow Grand Ole Opry stars Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas were also killed in the crash.

After Patsy’s death, her fans and friends came forward to share some of their last memories of her. Keep reading to learn more about the final moments in her life.

Patsy Cline’s Final Call To Perform

When the popular DJ “Cactus” Jack Call was killed in a car accident in January 1963, a benefit concert was set up in Kansas City to help raise money for his family.

Tickets for the benefit did not sell well. So the promotor convinced Cline’s manager to add her to the lineup. The lineup also included Dottie West, George Jones, and Roy Acuff.

The video above is not from the benefit concert, but does include one of Cline’s final performances. It occurred on The Glenn Reeves Show on February 23, 1963.

Dottie West Said Patsy Looked “Like An Angel” The Last Time She Watched Her Sing

West was one of Cline’s closest friends, and she said she will never forget watching her perform for the last time:

I walked out and watched the shows, and I will never forget that gorgeous white chiffon dress she wore. I thought, ‘My God! She sings like an angel, and she looks like one.’ She was just beautiful.”

The benefit took place on March 3, 1963, two days before Cline’s death.

It was rainy and foggy on the day of the show, which made conditions too dangerous for planes. Still, Cline turned down West’s offer for a ride home, because she thought a plane would be faster.

Cline hadn’t been feeling well. She also wanted to get home to see her two children, Julie and Randy, as soon as she could.

The rainstorm finally passed after two days. Cline and the others were able to board the plane and took off in the early afternoon on March 5.

But they couldn’t escape the storm completely. Hughes, who didn’t know how to fly using instruments, landed the plane every time the weather got too rough for him to handle.

Her Final Minutes…

The plane made its last stop in the town of Dyersburg, Tennessee, where the airport manager warned Hughes that it wasn’t safe to fly. He remained determined to give it a try. Hughes even refused the manager’s offer to loan him his car. He refueled the plane before he took off and went back into the storm around 6:07 PM.

According to Cline’s watch, which stopped and was recovered from the scene of the crash, the plane went down 13 minutes later, at 6:20 PM.

Cline’s body was recovered from the wreckage. She was laid to rest at Shenandoah Memorial Park in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia.

West and fellow country star Loretta Lynn had a bell tower placed at the cemetery in Cline’s memory, which plays hymns every day at the hour of her death.

May you rest in peace Patsy Cline. You are so dearly missed.