My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Classic Rewind: Patsy Cline – ‘I’ve Loved And Lost Again’

Today marks the 50th anniversary of one of country music’s darkest tragedies, when Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Randy Hughes, and Patsy Cline were killed in a plane crash near Camden, Tennessee.

Patsy scored her first major hit in 1957 with “Walkin’ After Midnight”. This clip from Tex Ritter’s Ranch Party aired shortly thereafter:

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4 responses to “Classic Rewind: Patsy Cline – ‘I’ve Loved And Lost Again’

  1. Ken Johnson March 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    The saddest part of that tragedy is that it didn’t have to happen. When pilot Randy Hughes stopped the plane in Dyersburg, TN to refuel that March afternoon he called his wife in Nashville who told him that the weather in Music City was clearing and sunny. Unfortunately it was only a brief break in the storm and Randy who was not certified to fly using instruments decided to continue their journey to Nashville based solely on his wife’s observation. He ignored the warnings at the Flight Service Station that a front was moving across Tennessee containing gusty winds, rain and fog. He was also told of a special advisory for light aircraft that mentioned turbulence and low visibility as darkness would come early in the late winter afternoon. Even the Dyersburg airport manager tried to persuade Randy to wait out the storm and stay the night. But Randy would not listen. Overconfident of his own ability as a pilot and the capability of his single engine Piper Comanche he took off shortly after 6pm local time with a plane weighing 40 pounds more than its allowable certified gross weight. Hughes was not aware that Piper Comanche single-engine airplanes had twice the crash rate in bad weather as similar planes. Less than a half-hour after departure the flight ended on a Tennessee hillside. The crash site in the woods was not discovered until the next morning. Patsy Cline’s watch, found in the wreckage had stopped at 6:27pm.

    The Civil Aviation Board placed the blame for the crash completely on Randy Hughes for “initiating flight in the existing conditions.”

    RIP Patsy, Hawshaw, Cope & Randy.

    • Ben Foster March 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

      I’ve definitely been struck by all the “What if”s and variables that could have changed the course of history. I remember also reading that Dottie West invited Patsy to ride with her back to Nashville by car, and noting that Patsy Cline might still be living today had she accepted that ride.

      • Ken Johnson March 6, 2013 at 11:59 am

        Loretta Lynn had planned to travel with Patsy to Kansas City that weekend but changed her mind when she was offered a job that paid more money.

        Billy Walker was scheduled to return on the plane with Patsy but took an earlier flight. The seat that Billy would’ve occupied on the plane was given to Hawkshaw Hawkins.

        Both must’ve felt like Waylon Jennings did after he gave up his seat on Buddy Holly’s fateful charter flight to J.P (Big Bopper) Richardson just four years earlier.

  2. Pingback: Walkin' After Midnight by Patsy Cline | Doug's Diary

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