Anniversary of Patsy Cline's Death

03/05/2012
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(Gibson) On this day in 1963, country singer Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee. Gibson takes a look back: Patsy Cline loved her kids. And as much as she bucked at the thought sacrificing her professional career to be a housewife for her first husband, Gerald Cline, in the mid-'50s, this was different. That Patsy was a poor country girl with dreams of stardom. This Patsy was an industry veteran on top of the world, but with two small children, Julie and Randy, waiting for her back home. Suddenly all those tours and TV appearances didn't mean quite so much as they used to. Cline spent the last weeks of 1962 a couple of thousand miles removed from her babies while performing her hit show in Las Vegas. "I've become a captive of my own ambitions," she told her close friend, Dottie West.

But it was that big heart that sent Cline out to Kansas City, Kansas in the first place in March 1963. She agreed to perform at a series of benefit shows on March 3, to help raise funds for the family of disc jockey Cactus Jack Call, who had been killed recently in a car accident. The benefit brought several big names from the country music world, including George Jones, George Riddle and the Jones Boys, Billy Walker, Dottie West, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and others.

The show itself went off without a hitch, with Cline closing her final set with "I'll Sail My Ship Alone." Then she bid her fans farewell with a rather chilling confession, "I've done a lot of things that I'm not happy about. And in the short time God gives us on this earth, I'm doing something about changing all that. But I sure do appreciate you sticking with me and buying my records. Y'all been good to ole Patsy!"

Cline had put on a crowd-stirring show, despite feeling a bit under the weather. She was up coughing half of the night that followed. When she met the others for breakfast in the morning, she didn't feel like eating at all. 560 miles away, in Nashville, her son Randy's cold had turned to pneumonia. Cline just wanted to get home. more on this story

Gibson.com is an official news provider for antiMusic.com.

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