Patsy Cline Performance

(Frank) And we’re back. You know there’s a place in Kansas City that well, is a concert venue for a number of years and anyway, it also happened to be the venue where Patsy Cline sang her last concert. I’m not gonna give up the whole story right now, but the thing is that’s really what’s notable about this story because obviously Patsy Cline is not from Kansas. But it is kind of notable that… (Deb) Sure. (Frank) …it happened to be her very last concert. (Deb) Were you a Patsy Cline fan? (Frank) I am a Patsy Cline fan, yes. (Deb) I think she had the best voice of any female singer ever. (Frank) Right. (Deb) Just amazing. (Frank) Well, you know I’m on WRENradio.net, tune in, it’s the oldies. And we do play Patsy Cline, even though we’re an oldies station, Patsy Cline was a cross over artist. (Deb) Right. She sure was. (Frank) She was both pop and country. And we have a thing called Juke Box Classic, once an hour and a Patsy Cline song will play there. (Deb) Was it, Crazy Arms? Is that the one that Willie Nelson wrote, that she did? (Frank) Hmmm. I don’t know. (Deb) There was one of her songs, big hit that Willie Nelson wrote and she got the demo tape and of course, Willie Nelson can’t sing. Sorry, he can’t sing. And she’s like, I love him, but he can’t sing. And she’s like, I can’t sing that song. And they’re like, Patsy, don’t pay any attention to him, just pay attention to the song and do it your way. And of course she did it and it was you know, a spot on hit. (Frank) Yea, anyway let’s hear about her last concert in Kansas. It was a sentimental evening that March 3, 1963, at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Beloved deejay, Cactus Jack Call had been killed in a car crash and tonight’s show was a benefit for his family. A virtual who’s who of the Grand Ole Opry filled the stage to pay homage: George Jones, Billy Walker, Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Wilma Lee & Stony Cooper, and Dottie West. Patsy Cline became a last minute addition on the bill. She had been touring hard and had a terrible cold. But it was for a good cause, so despite her manager’s objections to working for free, she agreed to join the group of stars. Despite fatigue and illness, Patsy put on an incredible show. She was unable to fly out the next day because the Fairfax Airport in Kansas City, Kansas, was fogged in. Declining a car ride back to Nashville with country singer Dottie West and her husband, she boarded a Piper PA-24 Comanche plane, along with country performers Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas, and her manager Hughes, who was the pilot but was not trained in instrument flying. After making a fuel stop in Missouri and another landing at Dyersburg Municipal Airport in Dyersburg, Tennessee, the plane departed for Cornelia Fort Airpark, near Nashville, against the advice of the airfield manager. The flight encountered inclement weather and crashed in a forest near Camden, Tennessee, on the evening of March 5, 1963, killing all on board. She was 30 years old and was one of the most influential, successful and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century. In 1973, she became the first female solo act to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 1985, a full length feature film and box office smash, Sweet Dreams, told her life story and revitalized interest in her music. A postage stamp was issued honoring her in 1993. She received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. In 1999, she was voted Number 11 on VH1’s special, The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll, by members and artists of the rock music industry. In 2002, country music artists and industry members voted her Number One on Country Music Television’s The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music and ranked 46th in the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time issue of Rolling Stone magazine. Many artists performing today speak of having been inspired by Patsy Cline. Memorial Hall continues to be an active and respected venue. Yet, there are many claims that the famed performance hall is haunted. Many believe that Patsy’s spirit returns to the scene of her last performance. Others believe the power of her voice and talent just transcends time and space and remains wherever she was. See for yourself. Buy a ticket for a show at Memorial Hall and close your eyes. Maybe you’ll hear Patsy singing, Crazy!

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