On This Day: Patsy Cline Plays Her Final Show in 1963

by Emily Morgan

Fifty-seven years ago today, Patsy Cline would perform her beloved songs one last time before her death on March 5, 1963, 

On March 3, 1963, Cline sang at three benefit shows at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kan. The performance was held to raise money for the family and widow of DJ Jack “Cactus” Hall, who had been killed in an automobile accident months earlier. 

In addition to Cline, other stars on the lineup included Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas, Dottie West, Billy Walker, George Jones, Wilma Lee, and Stoney Cooper. 

Even though Cline had come down with the flu, she still managed to perform three shows for the event: one at 2 P.M., 5 P.M., and 8 P.M. 

“I walked out and watched the shows, and I will never forget that gorgeous white chiffon dress she wore,” West later in the biography The Real Patsy Cline. “I thought, ‘My God! She sings like an angel, and she looks like one.’ She was just beautiful.

“It seemed she sang so effortlessly. She just did it so easily,” West added. “I remember that night that they just screamed and yelled when she did “Bill Bailey.” She sang the fire out of it — like it had never been sung. She was really happy that day.”

Crowd Gives Patsy Cline Standing O For Final Performance

She sang a new record called “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone,” which she had recorded one-month earlier for her final performance.

After she sang the tune, the crowd applauded her, even giving Cline a standing ovation. After she left the venus, she stayed at the Town House Motor Hotel until March 5, after dangerous weather prevented her from traveling back to Nashville sooner. 

On that fateful day, the world lost an icon when 30-year-old Cline tragically died in a plane crash near Camden, Tenn., on their way home. 

At the time of her passing, Cline left behind her second husband, Charlie Dick, plus a son and daughter, Julie and Randy. Later, in 1973, the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted Cline posthumously as their first female solo artist into the hallowed organization. Fans remember her most for her heartbreakingly beautiful voice on tracks such as “Crazy”, “I Fall to Pieces,” “Walkin’ After Midnight.”