Camden, TN Airplane Crash Kills Patsy Cline and others, Mar 1963

Patsy Cline, photo from wikipedia.org Memorial at the Crash Site, photo submitted by Stu Beitler Memorial at the Crash Site, photo submitted by Stu Beitler Patsy Cline Memorial at Site of Crash.jpg Patsy Cline plane wreckage site 2.jpg Patsy Cline plane wreckage site.jpg

'Opry' Stars Are Victims In Air Crash

CAMDEN, Tenn. (UPI) - HAWKSHAW HAWKINS, COWBOY COPAS and PATSY CLINE, stars of country music's famed Grand Ole Opry, were killed in the crash of their small plane Tuesday night during bad weather, authorities reported today.

The three, along with MISS CLINE'S manager, RANDY HUGHES, were en route to Nashville, home of the Grand Ole Opry, from a benefit show in Kansas City when their plane went down.

Highway patrolmen who reached the scene of the crash, about three miles from the Tennessee River near this West Tennessee town, radioed back this morning that four bodies were found in the wreckage. A fire tower watchman first spotted the wreckage after dawn broke across the hill country, where several residents reported they had seen the Piper Comanche plane circling.

Thunderstorms raked portions of Tennessee during the time and visibility in the Camden area was reported poor.

The three stars and HUGHES landed at Dyersburg, Tenn., about 6 p. m., then took off for Nashville with fuel for three hours.

MRS. HUGHES said in Nashville that her husband, who was piloting the plane, had telephoned from Dyersburg and said the four "would be home soon."

Capt. FRANK JONES of the Eastern Air Rescue Center at Robins Air Force Base, said there were reports that the plane later was seen circling with its engine off.

MISS CLINE, of Winchester, Va., was named "outstanding female vocalist" last year by country and western music publications.

She became a Grand Ole Opry regular in 1959. Among her biggest hits were "I Fall To Pieces," "She's Got You," and"Heartaches."

HAWKINS was a West Virginian who had been with the Opry eight years. His wife is JEAN SHEPARD, another Opry star. Some of his better known songs were "Slow Poke," "Soldier's Joy" and "Twenty Miles From Shore."

The four took part in a benefit show in Kansas City Sunday night for the family of CACTUS JACK CALL, a disc jockey killed last year in an automobile accident.

The Anniston Star Alabama 1963-03-06

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Wreckage Found In Tennessee ....

'Grand Ole Opry' Stars Killed In Plane Crash

CAMDEN, Tenn. (AP) - The wreckage of a light plane with four Grand Ole Opry personalities aboard was found about five miles west of the Tennessee River in west Tennessee today.

Benton County Sheriff LOYE FURR said there were no survivors.
Aboard were singers PATSY CLINE, HAWKSHAW HAWKINS and COWBOY COPAS and the pilot, RANDY HUGHES who was MISS CLINE'S manager and a son-in-law of COPAS.

The single engine plane was returning the recording artists to Nashville after benefit performances at Kansas City, Kan. It stopped at Dyersburg near Memphis early Tuesday night to refuel. HUGHES telephoned his wife in Nashville to say they would be home soon. The plane never arrived.

FURR described the search area as "full of woods, hills, hollows and a few swamps."

The Dyersburg Airport manager, BILL BRAESE, estimated the plane had enough fuel to stay aloft about three and one-half hours when it left Dyersburg at 6:07 p. m. Tuesday.

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