Tuesday, March 05, 2013

50 years ago we lost Hawkshaw, Patsy and Cowboy

It was 50 years ago today that a plane crash robbed music of a trio of COUNTRY MUSIC stars.
PATSY CLINE, HAWKSHAW HAWKINS and COWBOY COPAS had traveled to Kansas City to perform a benefit show for the family of "Cactus" Jack Call, a country disc jockey who had been killed in a car crash.
The trio decided to fly home to Nashville in a plane owned by Copas' son-in-law, Randy Hughes.
The flight encountered bad weather and crashed in a forest outside Camden, Tenn., about 90 miles from Nashville.
I'm marking the sad occasion by listening to Hawkins, one of the unsung, true icons of the genre.
"Dog House Boogie," "Soldier's Joy," "Twenty Miles From Shore" and the posthumous "Lonesome 7-7203" are among the Hawkins hits on a 15-song playlist on my iTunes.
Cub Koda writes:
"Described as 'the man with 11-and-a-half yards of personality,' Hawkins was a warm and engaging performer both on stage and on records, able to pull off a wide variety of material, from maudlin weepers to uptempo novelties."
Hawkins' star began to be eclipsed during his life -- "Lonesome 7-7206" was intended to serve as a comeback single before his death -- and even today his tragic demise is recorded as almost an after thought to a plane crash notable to most for claiming the life of Cline.
I'll play Hawkins all day. It's the only way I can pay him tribute.


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