Country Music fans will never forget the date March 5, 1963.

While Don McLean famously sung about 'the day the music died' in his pop music hit 'American Pie', referring to that snowy February day in 1959 when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper were killed in an Iowa plane crash, it was March 5, 1963 that rings tragically true for country music fans.

That was the day three of country music's biggest star's died in a Tennessee plane crash. Patsy Cline, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Cowboy Copas.

Lloyd Estel Copas was born in 1913 in Blue Creek, Ohio, but the world wouldn't know him as Lloyd. We all called him 'Cowboy'.

It was in the 1940's that Cowboy first came to national attention in the music world, replacing Eddy Arnold in Pee Wee King's band and performing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, a stage that he would call his country music home into the 1960's.

From his first solo hit Filipino Baby in 1946 right on through his only number one smash 'Alabam' in 1960, Cowboy Copas delighted fans around the world with his unique sound. In fact, 'Alabam' not only reached number one, it stayed there for a solid three months!

The careers of Cowboy Copas, Hawkshaw Hawkins and Patsy Cline seemed bright indeed. On March third they did a benefit show in Kansas City, and on March fifth they left to come back to Nashville in a Piper Comanche piloted by Cowboy's son-in-law, who was also Patsy Cline's manager.

Encountering severe weather, the plane crashed near Camden, Tennessee at around 6:20 P.M.  There were no survivors.

Cowboy Copas was 49 years old.

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