Fifty-nine years ago today (March 5, 1963) was a tragic day for the country music community: It was on that date that Patsy Cline, along with Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas, was killed in a plane crash while on her way home from a benefit concert in Kansas City, Kan.
Although she was ill with the flu, Cline performed three shows at Kansas City’s Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall on March 3, to raise money for the family of DJ Jack “Cactus” Call, who had been killed in a car crash that January. Also among the performers at the benefit shows were Hawkins, Copas, George Jones, George Riddle and the Jones Boys, Billy Walker, Dottie West, Wilma Lee and Stoney Cooper, George McCormick and the Clinch Mountain Boys.
Following her final performance, Cline returned to the Town House Motor Hotel in Kansas City. When weather conditions prohibited Cline from flying out on March 4, West invited Cline to join her and her husband Bill on the 16-hour drive back to Music City. Cline declined, saying, “Don’t worry about me, Hoss. When it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.”