Thursday, March 5, 2015
Fifty-two years ago today, on March 5, 1963, occurred one of the most tragic and oft commemorated events in the history of country music. The Piper Comanche carrying Patsy Cline, Cowboy Copas, and Hawkshaw Hawkins, and piloted by Cline's manager and Copas' son-in-law Randy Hughes, crashed near Camden, Tennessee, killing all on board. The details of this unfortunate occurrence have been told so many times that there is really no need to retell them again here.
Although most accounts of the tragedy primarily focus on Cline, (understandable as she is now a major musical legend of the 20th century), it should be remembered that Copas and Hawkins were both established country music veterans at the time of their demise. The two singers careers had many parallels; both made their initial impact on Syd Nathan's upstart King label in the immediate postwar years, both worked consistently throughout the fifties and were well known personalities on radio and records but never achieved the breakout star status of contemporaries such as Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, etc., and both had late career revivals, Copas with his hit talking blues "Alabam" in 1960 and Hawkins with "Lonesome 7-7203", released a scant three days before his death and a posthumous hit, his only record to reach #1 on Billboard's country chart.
Presented here are the two LPs released by King in 1963 as memorials to the label's fallen stars. With the exception of two Hawkins tracks from his last session in 1962 ("Lonesome 7-7203" and "Love Died Tonight") the albums are comprised of tracks originally released as singles from the late 1940's into the 1950's. Both collections have fairly extensive notes for the time, with King 835 featuring a gatefold cover including several photos. Scans of the jackets and labels of each LP are included in the uploaded folders. The following uncredited tribute is printed on the back of King 835:
THIS ALBUM IS A LIVING TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY...TO THE FRIENDSHIPS...TO THE TALENTS OF HAROLD "HAWKSHAW" HAWKINS AND LLOYD "COWBOY COPAS AND TO THE LEGENDS THAT THEY LEAVE BEHIND.
THE TRAGIC ILL-FATED ACCIDENT AT CAMDEN, TENNESSEE ON MARCH 5, 1963 IS WELL KNOWN TO COUNTRY MUSIC FANS ALL OVER THE WORLD AND NEED NOT BE RETOLD HERE...BUT RATHER THE PRODUCERS HAVE TOLD THE STORY OF THE TWO STARS BY PRESENTING, IN SONG, THE HISTORY OF THEIR CAREERS, STARTING WITH THEIE VERY FIRST RECORDING AND PROGRESSING ON TO THEIR LATEST...THESE ARE THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS AND THEIR BIGGEST HITS AND BY THESE THEY WILL ALWAYS BE REMEMBERED.
BOTH STARS WERE DISCOVERED AND STARTED ON THEIR WAY TO FAME BY MR. SYDNEY NATHAN, OWNER AND FOUNDER OF KING RECORDS, AND RECORDED THEIR FIRST RECORDS IN THE KING STUDIOS IN CINCINNATI, OHIO SOME TWENTY YEARS AGO.
"HAWKSHAW" HAWKINS AND "COWBOY" COPAS HAVE JOINED JIMMY OSBORN, HANK WILLIAMS, JOHNNY HORTON, PATSY CLINE, JACK ANGELIN AND JIMMIE RODGERS IN COUNTRY MUSIC'S "HILLBILLY HEAVEN" AND IT IS TO THEIR MEMORY THAT WE DEDICATE THIS ALBUM.
In Memory - Lloyd "Cowboy" Copas - Harold "Hawkshaw" Hawkins
1. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Lonesome 7-7203
2. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Sunny Side Of The Mountain
3. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Slow Poke
4. Hawkshaw Hawkins-After All We Have Meant To Each Other
5. Hawkshaw Hawkins-If I Ever Get Rich Mom
6. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Love Died Tonight
7. Cowboy Copas-Breeze
8. Cowboy Copas-Signed, Sealed, And Delivered
9. Cowboy Copas-Tragic Romance
10. Cowboy Copas-Filipino Baby
11. Cowboy Copas-Tennessee Waltz
12. Cowboy Copas-'Tis Sweet To Be Remembered
The Legend Of Cowboy Copas And Hawkshaw Hawkins #2
1. Cowboy Copas-Below The Mason Dixon Line
2. Cowboy Copas-It's A Lonely World
3. Cowboy Copas-If I Bring Home The Bacon
4. Cowboy Copas-Don't Let Them Change Your Mind
5. Cowboy Copas-Double Trouble On My Mind
6. Cowboy Copas-Night Plane To Memphis
7. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Little White Washed Chimney
8. Hawkshaw Hawkins-There'll Never Be A Sweeter Girl Than You
9. Hawkshaw Hawkins-You Go Your Way, I'll Go Mine
10. Hawkshaw Hawkins-The Last Letter
11. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Never Mind The Tears
12. Hawkshaw Hawkins-Empty Arms And A Heart Full Of Sorrow