This is a collection of information and photographs having to do with Patsy Cline and her death. So many things have been added over the years, it would take too much time to organize it. I hope you can sift through it and enjoy it.
Without a doubt, one of the most original singing voices in the world, with a string of hits insuring her immortality. I could go on about her life (born Virginia Patterson Hensley), but there are hundreds of websites devoted to that, and it ain't what we're about.
June 17, 2000:
Findadeath.com friend D.R. Connolly has struck once more, and got some great new shots for us. Here is the home where Patsy and Charlie were married, located at 720 S. Kent Street, in Winchester. This is Gaunt's Drug Store, where Patsy used to work. Here is the sign in Shenandoah Memorial Park, pointing you to Patsy's grave. Last but certainly not least, the Patsy Stamps, first day issue. Cool, or what?! Thanks D.R.!
JUNE 2001: Findadeath.com friend Jeff sends this info: Wanted to pass this picture along, although it's sad. I went to Winchester last week and, being a Patsy fan myself...I took the time to snoop around a bit. I hit all the spots, including the Rainbow Road Club. Decided to forego having a cocktail there as it was mid-Sunday about 3:00 on the WVA state line. Way too many bubbas in the parking lot.
Here's a picture of 608 S. Kent from the back side, taken last week. Keep in mind that this was taken 5/20/01! I've made calls to her fan club and have even left a call for Mel Dick, Patsy's brother-in-law. Waiting to hear from him. Loretta should be ashamed, too. This is appalling. I am thinking of spearheading an action myself with MCA (her old Decca label) in tow with me. Shouldn't be too difficult with this picture as a backup. Put some heat on some people to do something.
608 S. Kent was purchased in 1/01 by a group of individuals known as Adams Mgmt, aka Pegasus Realty. They planned to place a tenant there and charge $600 a month toward the renovation costs. That is still the plan but no one has rented it yet. I can't believe that Winchester doesn't have one hefty drag queen/hair burner to move up in there and hold court in a brunette wig.
These photographs come courtesy of Findadeath.com friend D.R. Connolly. This is the sign that used to welcome people to Patsy's home town of Winchester, VA. I understand that it is gone now.
Here is the house that Patsy grew up in, in Winchester, VA. 608 S. Kent Street, to be exact. This showcase is located at the Kurtz Cultural Center, in Winchester.
Also in Winchester, is this bell tower, and plaque, dedicated to their fave daughter. D.R. also tells me that the house is vacant and NOT for sale. Stunning work, D.R. Thanks so very much.
A huge thanks to friend of Findadeath.com Cayley, who took these next photographs for us. Patsy's home was located on Nella Drive, in Goodlettsville, TN.
The house number was 815. My pal Cayley got these shots : )
Patsy had just done a gig in Kansas City, to benefit the family of disc jockey "Cactus" Jack Call, who was killed in a car accident. That concert took place on the 3rd of March 1963. Big thanks to my friend Steve Smith for this info: The songs she sang in Kansas were: "Heartaches," "She's Got You," "Am I a Fool," "Faded Love," "Sweet Dreams," "Walkin' After Midnight," "Come on In," "Crazy" and "I Fall to Pieces." She wore a white gown after losing a lot of weight, joking with the audience that she could finally wear white.
They intended to fly back to Nashville the next day in her manager's plane, but storms postponed their flight until the 5th. On Tuesday the 5th, at 1:30 p.m., Patsy, her manager and pilot, Randy Hughes, and fellow performers Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas took off on their ill fated flight. They were flying a single propeller 4 person Piper Comanche PA-24 plane (#N-7000P thankya). At 2:22 p.m. there was radio contact with them just south of Kansas City, and they stopped for fuel on the way, in Dyersburg, Tennessee. While refueling, they grabbed a bite to eat, and the pilot phoned his wife in Nashville. She said that the weather was fine. Unbeknownst to her, she was in the eye of the storm, and it was NOT all right (whoops.). The plane took off again, at 6:07 - straight for the storm.
Unfortunately, the pilot was not "instrument trained" (hello JFKjr!) and lost visibility completely, and somewhere above Camden Tennessee, started taking a nosedive. Investigators theorize that Hughes was trying to land on a nearby highway, but hit some trees on the way, and well, that was that.
The plane landed in a hollow in a wooded area called Fatty Bottom, just west of Camden. That's some 70 miles west of Nashville. The Camden Civil Defense Unit and the Highway patrol searched all night for the wreckage, until it was discovered at dawn by William Jeffrey Hollingsworth, and his son Jeners. Here is the son's account of the discovery:
"We were out on Old Stage Road trying to locate the plane just as it turned daylight. We looked up through the mist and fog, and spotted a section of a yellow airplane wing in the top of a tree. We went down the steep hill and saw pieces of the plane scattered around a 300 foot area. There were parts of bodies on tree limbs and on the ground. Daddy started backing up from the area and told me to go call the sheriff's office."
Here is the coolest Findadeath photo ever, courtesy of Country Diva Tina C. Right here in the UK! These items were found in the wreckage. Fantastic.
So Hollingsworth ran to his sister's house and placed the call. The first officer on the scene was Trooper Troy Odle. After he investigated the wreckage, he fired three shots into the air (YEE HAW.) to summon the others.
Local funeral director Bill Mclin drove the ambulance to the crash site to remove the "mangled and torn bodies" of the victims from the scene. This is the spot where Patsy's body was found.
Here is a stone (Patsy's Stone? Patsy's pieces?) from the exact spot.
Soon after the discovery, people were arriving from everywhere, taking pieces of the plane wreckage as souvenirs. See? I'm not the only one. By Sunday, over 3000 people had gone to the crash site to do whatever.
Again, thanks to my buddy Steve Smith for this: According to the book Patsy Cline by Ellis Nassour, husband Charlie Dick brought her body home for viewing (of the casket only. Duh.) in her living room. A prayer service for all four victims was held on Thursday, March 7 at 5:00 p.m., and supposedly 25,000 people showed up for the event. Her actual funeral/burial did not take place until the Sunday after in Winchester, Virginia, March 10, in Shenandoah Memorial Park. Randy Hughes & Cowboy Copas (Randy's father-in-law) funeral was held Friday morning and Hacksaw Hawkins' funeral was held Friday afternoon, Patsy's husband, Charlie went to both funerals. Patsy's body was returned to Winchester via plane after the prayer service and her funeral/burial was on Sunday, giving her mother and family and Charlie time to return from Nashville. Phew, thanks Steve.
Cut to July 6, 1996, a giant stone was placed at the scene of the discovery as a memorial to the victims.
People in attendance included country legend Kitty Wells, her husband Johnny Wright, Jean Shepherd and Harold Hawkins (Hawkshaw's wife and son), and Julie and Michelle Fudge, daughter and granddaughter of Patsy Cline.
Here's a close up of the stone.
Here's a picture of Jeners Hollingsworth with a hunk of the plane. I wonder if they let him keep it. I'd be so jealous.
The Patsy Cline fan club put a mailbox up near the sight. The day we were there, it contained a guest book and other assorted atrocities including a shell, a (plastic) flower (ugh.), and a little wooden church. Whatever. Oh yeah, there's this post thing, too.
I don't know if this is true or not, but legend has it that Patsy's song, "I Fall To Pieces" was climbing up the charts just as Patsy hit the dirt. I doubt it, but it would be ironic, wouldn't it?
Trivia: Johnny Wright (Kitty Well's husband) was once part of a singing duo with his brother-in-law, Jack. They were called, "Johnny and Jack." They were on their way to Patsy's funeral on the 7th of March, when an automobile accident took the life of Jack.
Trivia: You know earlier, when I showed you the photograph of where Patsy's body was found? Well, I'm not embarrassed to say I did it, but let's just say I had to.
I sell stones from the location as well. Yep, I'm a whore.
More Trivia: Located in the Grand Ol' Opry in Nashville, you can see one of Patsy's outfits, and the sewing machine her mother would make them on.
Also, there is an exhibit showing what Patsy's rec room looked like. The only authentic item is the television, but her husband Charlie helped them to recreate it.
Okay, more. Thanks again Steve for this: "She's Got You" was her big hit at the time she died, "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy" reaching number one in 1961 and 1962, respectively (according to the liner notes on the soundtrack "Sweet Dreams," "I Fall to Pieces" was recorded on November 16, 1960 and "Crazy" was recorded on August 21, 1961 - two months after her near fatal car accident.)
Trivia: At 11:30 a.m., on August 3 1999, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is awarding (meaning someone paid for it) Patsy a star on the Walk of Fame.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TRIVIA. My buddy Ted, from Celebrity Archives (see the link on our links page) furnished this next bit of information. Patsy had a hand written will. Not that unusual, you say? It was written on Delta Airlines Letterhead. Check it out. Thanks Ted!
March 2001, from Findadeath.com friend Calvin Champion:
For persons who have seen the motion picture "Sweet Dreams", there are many items that are not accurate and items that are misleading. Here are just a few of those items:
In the movie, it is stated that Patsy loved yellow roses. Actually, Patsy loved red roses.
In the movie, Patsy's near fatal car accident is completely inaccurate. It shows Patsy and her brother getting broad-sided by a moving van because the brother was not paying attention to the road.
Actually, the car Patsy was riding in, driven by her younger brother "John", was hit head-on. A woman in the on-coming lane floor-boarded her car in order to pass another vehicle. She was the one not paying attention. She struck "John's" car head-on and Patsy was thrown through the windshield. The driver of the other car and her young nephew were killed. Another passenger in the car survived the accident. Patsy was in critical condition and almost died from blood loss because she insisted the others be taken to the hospital first. Her heart was truly in the right place. Another piece of information is that Dottie West (OH NO!) heard about the accident on the radio and went to the scene (she lived less than three blocks away). When she arrived, Patsy was still lying on the pavement and Dottie cradled Patsy's head in her lap and picked the glass out of her hair. Dottie rode to the hospital in the ambulance with Patsy. (Poor Dottie.)
It is true that Patsy and her husband's marriage
could be somewhat rocky at times. However,
In the film, it is shown that the airplane had engine
trouble then hit the side of a cliff and exploded; all during the daylight. Once again...inaccurate. Since
you have been to the crash site, you know there are not tall mountains and cliffs. Actually, the
group were to return home on Sunday, March 3, after the last show. However, due to bad weather, the
plane was not allowed to take off until Tuesday, March 5. That morning,
the group left Kansas City and headed for Nashville. Because the weather
was still not favorable, the plane had to land several times and wait for the
storm to blow further east. The last place they would land would be
Dyersburg, TN...only 90 miles from home. Because of misinformation, the
pilot and Patsy's manager, Randy Hughes, decided to try and make it into
Nashville. The plane took off at 6:07 pm and headed straight for the storm.
Many people in the Camden area reported a plane flying low and circling.
It was dark outside and raining. Anyway, people reported hearing a loud
"explosion" sound a few moments later. Of course, the
Thanks for the extensive research, Calvin. I was in Nashville a year or so ago, and went to a diner which (I didn't know it at the time) was the one in the film. The waitress was the same waitress, although since watching it again, you couldn't tell to save your life. Still... another brush with fame.
MORE NEW! March 2001:
I have looked at your site several times, and I must say, you've done a wonderful job.
On the Patsy Cline entry, I wanted to point a couple of things out to you:
1.The funeral directors name is listed as Mclin. It should be Malin. The funeral home is Stockdale-Malin.
2. Mr. Hollingsworth was indeed allowed to keep the piece of wreckage, and still owns it. He used to give tiny pieces of it to fans, but finally decided if he continued to do so, there would be nothing left.
I am a native of Camden, and was told the story of the crash and the mangled condition of the bodies many times over the years. My father was an early arriver on the scene, and was horrified by the sights and smells that assaulted him that day.
Thank you for your informative site.
Thank YOU, Rhonda. Interesting!
Findadeath.com friend Terri Story sends this picture of a shrine that exists near Patsy's death spot.
July 2003: Received this info from a Patsy Cline Pantysniffer:
A few years ago I sent a money order out for $80 to these two guys in Tennessee, that were selling hunks of Patsy's plane. They even offered me a cut if I sold a larger piece for them. Well, long story short - they never sent the two pieces we agreed on. Their names are Eric and Scott Mills, from Jackson Tennessee. They said they sent it, but it never got there, and they changed their email address etc. I think this sucks and they are dicks. I can eat the 80 bucks, but people have written me and told me that this isn't the first time these dicks have ripped people off, so BE AWARE of them.
December 2003 - A little update from Findadeath.com friend D.R. Connolly: "Just came back from Winchester VA. The woman at the Chamber of Commerce told me, "Patsy's house will be turned into a museum. It was purchased for this purpose. The first phase beginning in Spring of 2004.
Also, while I was there, two of Patsy's Cowboy show dresses were auctioned off in NYC. Several townspeople went to NYC to purchase these dresses. I don't know if they were successful or not. I was told by the same lady that the squabbling between family members was "just terrible."
Patsy's mother and father are buried in Winchester National Cemetery, in Winchester Virginia.
Great work D.R. Thanks!
December 13, 2001:
Findadeath.com friend Calvin Champion sends us these original 1963 scans and additional information. Excellent Findadeath sleuthery, Calvin! Thanks.
A photo of the shoes Patsy Cline was seen wearing when she boarded the plane at Dyersburg. The caption reads, "Patsy Cline's soft gold slippers, covered with mud, point to the impact site of the four-seat plane."
A photo of the crater where the plane hit the ground. "A six-foot deep crater was gouged out of the side of a hill where the single-engine plane hit the ground. The crater was filled with water from the apparent thunderstorm and had to be pumped in order to reach parts of the bodies. A wing hangs silently in a dogwood tree, just above the crater."
A photo of the police and funeral home crew combing the wreckage of the plane. "Police officials and funeral home attendents sift through the wreckage for body parts of three Grand Ole Opry stars. Civil Defense official Dean Brewer asked if all four bodies could be accounted for replied, 'There's not enough to count....they're all in small pieces.'"
At the Hall of Fame, there were no displays of the plane...just some personal items that were found at the crash site: Patsy's Dixie cigarette lighter and a make-up case. At the Willie Nelson Museum, they have Patsy's watch, the one she was wearing at the time of her death, on display. A not below it reads, "This watch stopped at 6:27 pm on March 5, 1963."
JUNE 2001, from Findadeath.com friends Walt and Lisa Fritsch:
My wife and I have been fans of your site for awhile now. We recently
moved to Winchester, VA from Los Angeles (where we had a lot of fun looking up the dead and famous). Of course, Winchester is the home of Patsy
Cline. This year, her family were made the Honorary Marshals of the Apple Blossom Parade (It's the
"Hillbilly" version of The Rose
Julie stopped by Gaunt's Drug Store for
interviews and photos after the parade.
Sorry, I ran out of film--otherwise, I would have gotten a picture taken with her.
Findadeath.com friend Jim Davis sent in this copy of Patsy's funeral card. Thanks Jimbo.
Update: March 2015- Patsy's Pizza Death Hag Sticker
Lawrence Varkalis sends this:
Had to put this on the window and take a picture. In South Chicago Heights, Illinois.