Did Patsy Cline Have A Premonition About Her Own Death?
Patsy Cline circa 1950 (Photo by RB/Redferns)
The death of Patsy Cline in an airplane crash in 1963 was one of the most tragic events in country music history. One of the genre’s first mega-stars, best known for her hits “Crazy,” “Walking After Midnight”, and “I Fall to Pieces,” Cline was only 30 years old when she was killed in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, while en route to Nashville. Having survived two previous car accidents, Cline displayed behavior that leads many people to believe that she had a premonition about her unexpected death. Could Cline have sensed that her time on Earth was running short?
Patsy Cline's airplane crash near Camden, Tennessee, which also claimed the lives of country stars Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas, has been called country music's "day the music died," a reference to the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. Both tragedies cut short careers of individuals who might have made music for decades afterward. It's disheartening to think of all the great music left unwritten and unsung by Patsy Cline -- and it's downright eerie to think that the legendary singer might even have seen that day coming.
Cline Paved The Way For Female Country Artists
During the 1950s and 1960s, Patsy Cline, who was born in 1932, capitalized on her rich, contralto voice, hard-work, and a few lucky breaks to rise to the top of the country music industry. She, along with Kitty Wells, was responsible for laying the foundation for other women in the male-dominated country music. Many of her songs were cross-over hits with wide appeal. Many of the female country superstars that came after her name Cline as an inspiration, including Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes, and more.
Cline Was In Two Bad Car Accidents
Patsy Cline survived two serious car accidents and was seriously injured in the second one. It took place on June 14, 1961. She was riding with her brother, Sam when the two were hit head-on on Nashville’s Old Hickory Boulevard. Patsy Cline was thrown through the windshield and came close to dying on the scene. She suffered a broken wrist, dislocated hip, a nasty gash across her forehead and cuts and bruises all over, yet she insisted that the emergency personnel treat the driver of the other car first. Cline looked on as the other driver, a young female, died before her eyes. Patsy’s dear friend, Dottie West, was impressed that Cline was so concerned about the well-being of the other driver. When West was in her own serious car accident in 1991, she, too, asked that the other driver receive treatment ahead of her. Tragically, West died while waiting to be treated.
Patsy Commented To Friends About Her Premonition
Two of Patsy’s close friends, Loretta Lynn and June Carter Cash, both claim that Cline had a strange feeling about her early death and that she made mysterious comments from time to time about dying at a young age. She apparently remarked to country singer, Ray Walker, “Honey, I’ve had two bad car accidents. The third one will either be a charm or it will kill me.” Perhaps, Patsy felt safer in an airplane because her premonition was about a traffic accident.
Patsy Chose To Fly Rather Than Drive
On the day of the plane crash that took her life, Patsy Cline had performed a benefit concert for her friend, Cactus Jack Hall, who had recently died in an automobile accident. The benefit, held in Kansas City, was to help Hall’s family. Cline’s buddy, Dottie West, shared the stage with her for the show. Afterward, Cline’s flight back to Nashville was delayed due to fog. West offered her friend a seat in her car…she was driving back to Nashville with her husband, Bill. Patsy declined the offer, saying, “Don’t worry about me. When it’s my time to go, it’s my time.”
The Plane Was Caught In A Sudden Storm
Patsy Cline’s manager, Randy Hughes, was piloting the small aircraft on March 5, 1963. When the plane got caught in an intense and sudden storm, Hughes had trouble controlling the craft. He was not experienced in flying using just instruments. Just outside Camden, Tennessee, the plane went down. Everyone on board the plane was killed on impact.
Patsy Had Made Plans For Her Early Death
Patsy Cline had commented to her friends that she had an eerie feeling that she would die young and it seemed that she acted on this premonition. She finalized her will just a few months before the plane crash. In her will, she made provisions for her three small children to be cared for by her friends. She also started giving away some of her most cherished possessions to her family and friends. Patsy remarked that she wanted them to have something to remember her by. It seemed like a strange and spooky move for a woman who was just 30 years old.
Patsy Cline Left A Legacy
Patsy Cline’s greatest legacy was her contribution to country music. She helped shatter gender barriers in the music industry and pave the way for future female country artists. Patsy Cline set the bar high with her music. If she did indeed sense that danger or possible death was imminent, it's a shame that she was unable to do anything to prevent it.
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