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Patsy Cline Talked about Her ‘Time to Go’ Right before the Fatal Crash That Left Her Two Kids without a Mom

Busayo Ogunjimi
Mar 31, 2022
01:40 P.M.
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Famous Singer Patsy Cline declined an invitation by her colleague Dottie West to travel back home by car from a concert where they had both performed. She died in a plane crash the next day, leaving behind her husband and two kids.

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Patsy Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, and at 15 years old, she dropped out of school to support her family after her father abandoned them.

She developed a love for music and, as a youngster – she started singing at juke joints while also appearing in amateur musicals, local radio stations, and competing on talent shows. 

[Left]A photo of Patsy Cline; [Right] Patsy Cline at an interview | Source: Getty Images

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Aged 20, she partnered with country bandleader Bill Pear and changed her name to "Patsy" after her middle name; Patterson. On March 7, 1953, she married her first husband, Gerald Cline, but their relationship only lasted four years until she met a handsome young man called Charlie Dick.

MEETING CHARLIE DICK

In April 1956, Patsy was singing in a dance club with the musical group called the Kountry Krackers in Maryville, Virginia, when Charlie saw her for the first time. 

Young Charlie was instantly attracted to the beautiful singer, and he approached her to ask for a dance, but Patsy declined his offer and told him she could not dance because she was presently working. 

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Photo of Patsy Cline on January 01 | Source: Getty Images

Some minutes later, Charlie saw her dancing with a man, and when they were done, he tried his luck again. The singer repeated she does not dance while working, and when Charlie replied he just saw her dancing with a man, Patsy disclosed it was her husband. 

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Charlie kept trying his luck with Patsy for the next couple of weeks until she finally gave in, and they talked in his car. Afterward, the pair realized they had a lot in common. Charlie and Pasty were both from the same part of town, and even though they were not poor, they also did not have a lot. 

They both dropped out of school at a young age, and they both did not have fathers. Patsy and Charlie also liked to have fun, and the latter especially loved Patsy's songs. 

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It did not take long before they became a couple, and Patsy left her husband Gerald Cline, who wanted her to be more of a housewife, for Charlie, who wanted to have fun and be out with her. 

THEIR RELATIONSHIP

In 1957, Patsy and Charlie, who worked as a linotype operator, tied the knot. Afterward, the couple moved to Nashville and bought a ranch house fitted with a big red bar in the basement with their names written on it. 

Although they loved each other, their relationship was far from perfect. Charlie had a reputation for being a party man, and he drank a lot.

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Patsy Cline's album cover | Source: Getty Images

According to Charlie, he and the singer lived life and had good and bad times like every other couple. They were like cats and dogs, and even though they regularly argued, after five minutes, they would kiss and make up. 

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Patsy would also regularly talk to her colleagues about their fights, and sometimes one minute, she would threaten to leave him, but a minute later, she would go on a rant about how much they loved each other.

Also, Charlie was a regular drunk, and he often hit the singer whenever they argued. Patsy would sometimes have him arrested and get him out the next morning.

Photo of Patsy Cline | Source: Getty Images

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HER TRAGIC DEATH

On March 3, 1963, despite being ill with the flu, Patsy was in Kansas City to perform in three shows at Kansas City's Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall to raise money for the family of DJ Jack "Cactus" Call, who had died in a car crash earlier that year. 

Patsy performed alongside famous entertainers like Dottie West, Wilma Lee, Billy Walker, George Jones, Gorge Riddle, and the Jones Boys. After her final performance, she went to the Town House Motor Hotel in Kansas City, but the bad weather conditions prevented her from going home on March 4.

One of her fellow performers at the show, Dottie West, invited her to join Dottie and her husband Bill on the 16-hour drive back to Music City, but Patsy declined.

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The next day, March 5, 1963, the talented singer left her hotel around 12:30 p.m to board an aircraft owned by her manager Randy Hughes at the Fairfax Municipal Airport in Kansas City.

They were joined by musicians Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins, and the aircraft was piloted by Randy, left the airport at 2. p.m. They stopped to refuel in Dyersburg, Tennessee, and were advised that the weather was too poor for flying.

Randy, however, decided to continue with the trip and explained he would return to Dyersburg if he had any trouble. The traveling party left at 6 p.m, and that proved to be the last contact anyone would have with them.

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A portrait of Patsy Cline | Source: Getty Images

At 6:29 p.m, the plane crashed near Camden, Tennessee, and the wreckage was found early the next morning. All the occupants lost their lives, including 30-year-old Patsy. 

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The items found at the scene included broken guitars, cowboy hats, and rhinestones. According to investigators, the crash was caused by the pilot's inexperience.

Photo of Patsy Cline circa 1958 | Source: Getty Images

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PREDICTING HER DEATH

Before the tragic plane crash that took her life, Patsy had been involved in two bad incidents and eerily predicted she might not survive the third one. 

At 13, Patsy had a near-death experience when hospitalized with a throat infection and rheumatic fever but eventually recovered.

Photo of Patsy Cline | Source: Getty Images

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Also, the singer was 29 years old when she almost died in a head-on car 

collision

. It resulted in permanent scarring and chronic pain, which could have easily ended her life.

However, she overcame it, and six weeks later, while still on crutches, appeared on the Grand Ol' Opry's stage to perform one of her biggest hits, "Crazy."

Weirdly, two years before the fatal accident on April 22, 1961, the singer penned a will while aboard Delta Airlines where she outlined how she would like to be buried and how her properties would be shared. 

Photo of Patsy Cline | Source: Getty Images

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While the country star was also 

recording 

the album "Sweet Dreams," she made a weird announcement by gesturing to the album and the recording booth and declared it would be her first and last.

The last eerie sign was on the day before her death when Dottie West invited her to join her and her husband Bill on the 16-hour drive back to Music City, which Patsy declined. She left the couple saying:

"Don't worry about me, Hoss. When it's my time to go, it's my time."

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CHARLIE AND HER KIDS 

Patsy was survived by her husband Charlie and their two kids, daughter Julie and son Randy. After her death, Charlie took on caring for the kids full time. 

He subsequently worked for several years in promotions at Starday Records and lived in Nashville for the rest of his life. The father of two also regularly traveled to multiple events and programs that honored his late wife, ensuring her music, legacy, and estate were protected.

Sadly, in November 2015, Charlie died at his home in Nashville, aged 81, leaving behind his kids Julie and Randy and Chip Dick, a son from his marriage to singer Jamey Ryan.

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Speaking years after her mother's death, 61-year-old Julie disclosed that the famous country singer was a hands-on mom who wanted to be there for her kids even though she loved her work. 

Julie also served as a producer on a Lifetime biopic that highlighted the friendship between her mother and Loretta Lynn titled "Patsy and Loretta."

Working on the biopic brought back some of Julie's childhood memories with her mother, and she explained that with all the years that had passed since Patsy's death, it was a pleasure to have her remembered.

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