Sunday, November 08, 2015

Passings: Charlie Dick, Widower of Patsy Cline

Charlie Dick, the widower of Patsy Cline and the man who kept her legacy alive over the years, died earlier on Sunday at the age of 81.

Dick was a linotype operator for the Winchester Star in Winchester, VA when he went to a 1956 concert by Cline. The two met and hit it off right away, marrying the next year. They had two children, Julie (born 1958) and Randy (born 1961).

Their marriage was rough at times, Dick said they were both hard-headed and hot tempereed, but not as rough as was portrayed in the 1985 biopic Sweet Dreams. They remained married until Cline's death in 1963 in a plane crash.

After Cline's death, he used the contacts from being with Patsy to enter the record business, working as a record promoter.

He remarried in 1965 to Jamey Ryan but they divorced in 1970 after having one child.

Throughout his life, Dick remained involved in protecting Cline's legacy, including the boom in interest in her recording output that was spurred by the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter and the 1985 Cline biopic. He worked with Hallway Productions on two documentaries on Cline's life that he dedicated to setting the record straight on their marriage and her career to counteract some of the inaccuracies in Sweet Dreams. He also was active on the fan circuit.