Famous singer Patsy Cline turned down Dottie West’s invitation to drive her home from a concert where they both performed. The following day, she perished in a plane crash, leaving behind her husband and two children.
Virginia Patterson Hensley, who would later become Patsy Cline, was born in Winchester, Virginia, and left school at the age of 15 to help support her family after their father abandoned them.
She discovered a love for music and began singing in juke joints as a child. She also appeared in amateur musicals, on local radio stations, and in talent competitions.
At the age of 20, she formed a band with country music pioneer Bill Pear and used the moniker “Patsy” in honor of her middle name, Patterson. She wed Gerald Cline on March 7, 1953, but the two were barely together for four years until she met Charlie Dick, a charming young guy.
Charlie first noticed Patsy in April 1956 while she was performing with the Kountry Krackers in a dance club in Maryville, Virginia.
Young Charlie was immediately drawn to the stunning vocalist and approached her to request a dance; however, Patsy denied his offer and informed him that she was now working.
After seeing her dance with a man for a while, Charlie decided to try his luck once more. When Charlie said he had just seen her dancing with a man, the singer said she did not dance when performing. Patsy then revealed that the man was her husband.
For the following few weeks, Charlie persisted in pursuing Patsy. Eventually, she gave up, and they spoke in his car. They discovered they had a lot in common afterward. Although they were not indigent, Charlie and Pasty were both from the same neighborhood and did not have much either.
They both dropped out of school when they were young, and neither had a father. Charlie, in particular, enjoyed listening to Patsy’s music, and both Patsy and Charlie enjoyed having fun.
It didn’t take long for them to start dating, and Patsy abandoned Gerald Cline—who wanted her to be more of a housewife—in favor of Charlie, who was more interested in going out and having fun.
The marriage of Patsy and Charlie, a linotype operator, took place in 1957. After that, the couple relocated to Nashville and bought a ranch-style home with a large red bar with their names on it installed in the basement.
Even though they were much in love, their union was far from ideal. Charlie was known for being a party animal who consumed a lot of alcohol.
Charlie claimed that he and the singer experienced both good and bad times as do all other couples. Even though they frequently quarreled, they were like cats and dogs in that they would kiss and make up within five minutes.
Patsy would frequently discuss their arguments with her coworkers. On occasion, she would threaten to break up with him before ranting about how much they loved one another.
Additionally, Charlie would beat the singer whenever they clashed because he was inebriated. Sometimes Patsy would have him taken into custody and release him the following morning.
Despite having the flu, Patsy was in Kansas City on March 3, 1963, for three performances at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall to benefit the family of DJ Jack “Cactus” Call, who had passed away in a vehicle accident earlier that year.
Along with well-known performers like Dottie West, Wilma Lee, Billy Walker, George Jones, Gorge Riddle, and the Jones Boys, Patsy shared the stage with them. She checked into the Town House Motor Hotel in Kansas City following her final performance, but the inclement weather on March 4 stopped her from returning home.
Dottie West, one of Patsy’s fellow singers from the event, extended an invitation for her to travel with her and her husband Bill on the 16-hour trip back to Music City, but Patsy turned it down.
The gifted vocalist departed her hotel the following day, March 5, 1963, at approximately 2:30 p.m. to board a plane owned by her manager Randy Hughes at the Fairfax Municipal Airport in Kansas City.
At 2:00 p.m., they departed from the airport, joined by musicians Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins. Randy was the pilot. The weather was deemed unsafe for flying when they stopped for fuel in Dyersburg, Tennessee.
But Randy made the decision to go on and said he would go back to Dyersburg if he had any issues. The traveling company departed around six o’clock, and that turned out to be the last time anyone would see them.
The aircraft crashed close to Camden, Tennessee, around 6:29 p.m., and the debris was discovered the following morning. All of the occupants, including Patsy, 30, perished in the accident.
Broken guitars, cowboy hats, and rhinestones were among the objects discovered at the scene. Investigators have concluded that the pilot’s inexperience was what led to the tragedy.
Patsy had been involved in two horrible situations before to the catastrophic plane crash that claimed her life and eerily prophesied she might not survive the third one.
When Patsy was 13 and hospitalized for a throat infection and rheumatic fever, she had a close call with death but eventually made a full recovery.
The singer also nearly lost her life in a head-on collision when she was 29 years old. It caused persistent pain and lasting damage, and it could have easily taken her life.
She overcame it, though, and six weeks later, still using crutches, she performed one of her biggest hits, “Crazy,” on stage at the Grand Ol’ Opry.
Strangely, the singer wrote a will while flying on Delta Airlines two years before the deadly accident on April 22, 1961, in which she specified how she wanted to be buried and how her assets would be distributed.
The country singer made an odd declaration by pointing to the album and the recording booth and saying it would be her first and last as she was still working on the album “Sweet Dreams.”
The final unsettling clue was Patsy’s refusal of Dottie West’s invitation to go with her and her husband Bill on their 16-hour trip back to Music City the day before she passed away. She said as she left the couple: “Hoss, don’t worry about me. When the time comes for me to leave, I will.”
Charlie, Patsy’s husband, and their two children, Julie and Randy, survived her. Charlie assumed full-time responsibility for the kids after she passed away.
After that, he spent a number of years working in promotions at Starday Records and spent the rest of his life in Nashville. In order to save his late wife’s music, legacy, and estate, the father of two frequently traveled to numerous ceremonies and events in her memory.
Sadly, Charlie passed away at his Nashville home in November 2015 at the age of 81. He was survived by his children Julie and Randy as well as Chip Dick, a son from his union with singer Jamey Ryan.
Years after her mother passed away, Julie, 61, revealed that the well-known country singer was a hands-on mother who desired to be there for her children despite her love of her career.
In addition, Julie worked as a producer on the Lifetime documentary “Patsy and Loretta,” which focused on the relationship between her mother and Loretta Lynn.
With so many years having passed since Patsy’s passing, Julie said that working on the biopic brought back some of her memories of her mother from her youth and that it was a pleasure to have her remembered.