WWII veteran honored in banner raising ceremony Veteran of three wars honored for volunteer work Charlotte Evans Jason A Barr Why we celebrate Manchester man killed in single-car accident Adams County Election Results – 2017 Hubert Knauff To keep or not to keep Time again for the changing of the seasons November proclaimed as Adoption Recognition and Recruitment Month Local business is seven decades old and counting Local student gets Nashville call Senior Profile: Gabe Grooms Lady Indians fall in districts Quest For The Cup complete for Dragons Meeting a true sports hero WU’s McCarty named District Player of the Year With regional run, Pennywitt completes memorable career West Union eighth grade volleyball finishes as SHAC runner-up Senior Profile: Tray Brand Greyhounds drop home finale, finish at 4-6 Lady Devils fall in district semis Devils go down in district finals Matt Seas headed back to State XC Meet Senior Profile: Charlee Louden Lady Indians ousted in sectional final Lady Devils down Minford 4-1 in district semis North Adams volleyball claims fourth consecutive sectional crown Senior Profile: Brooklyn Howlett Afterschool fun begins at NAES Wearing it pink in October Kenneth L Austin Jay E Minnich Reuben E Hershberger Bobby L Williams 18 years just isn’t long enough Emotional, historic, and victorious Taking action against addiction Utilities commission approves DP&L electric security plan What matters and what doesn’t Oh dear, is that a deer? Junior Gaffin Charlotte J Thatcher Matthew D Miller Megan R Phillips Ralph M Swearingen Linda C Ackley Robert Ralston Shelly Seaman Increased access to treatment, Improving economic opportunity keys to combating Ohio’s Opioid Crisis Seas siblings are again SHAC Cross-Country Champions Lady Hounds cruise to sectional victory Senior Profile: Alyssa Hoskins 101 and another sectional championship Lady Indians claim sectional title North Adams tops Peebles for sectional soccer crown Senior Profile: Shay Boldman 13.5 seconds, heartbreak for West Union PHS JV Volleyball completes unbeaten season On the course that Nicklaus helped design On the ballot: Meigs Township Trustees West Union Christian Church will again be collection center for Operation Christmas Child Peebles voters will choose council members in upcoming election Seven candidates seek seats on ACOVSD school board A time for transformation What will future generations say? Finding all those treasures Janet K Campbell Robert D Hill Lady Devils blank West Union 7-0 in SHAC soccer finale Vikings invade and conquer the Greyhounds Outpouring of community support for local business woman with cancer Manchester mourns teen killed in single-car crash Kylie S Lucas Sharon R Grooms Steven L Wootten Forest J McDaniel Ralph O Grooms Adams County teenager dies in auto accident Charles N Vance Wesley M Baldwin James Kennedy Tom A Mihalovich Brand hat trick leads North Adams past West Union 5-2 in SHAC soccer action Senior Profile: Bryant Lung Lady Hounds pull off thrilling Senior Night win Volleyball milestones continue to pile up at North Adams Banner season for Lady Indians soccer SHAC holds Junior High Volleyball Tournament Tournament match ups set for volleyball and soccer Senior Profile: Morgan Edmisten Hounds dominate, improve to 3-4 Is this not the best time of the year? Volley For The Cure is another big success Getting everything we ask for Oh, that dreaded leaf project Manchester: Adams County’s oldest community looks to the future with hope Congressman visits Manchester’s newest business Six candidates vie for MLSD School Board

Kathy Copas Hughes honors her father’s legacy

Cathy Copas Hughes, daughter of country singer “Cowboy Copas” of Blue Creek, was a special guest and even performed a few songs at the Aug. 27 Memorial Concert


Daughter of late country music legend makes surprise visit to memorial concert – 

By Patricia Beech – 

Fans of old style country music who gathered at the village Community Center in Blue Creek for the ninth annual Cowboy Copas Memorial Concert on Aug. 27 were in for a special treat when the iconic singer’s daughter, Kathy Copas Hughes, showed up to honor her late father and visit with the people from his home town.
Known as “the country gentleman of song”, Copas was a honky tonk singer and member of Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. He was born Lloyd Estel Copas in Blue Creek in 1913, and by age 14 he had mastered the guitar and developed his own unique style of playing with a thumb pick.
According to some accounts, he got his nickname as he walked onto a stage with his guitar while performing with Lester ‘Natchee the Indian’ Storer, a young fiddler from Peebles. “Let’s see what you can do, cowboy,” someone shouted from the audience, and the name stuck.
Hughes, like her father, is a natural performer with an easy going personality. During the memorial concert, she entertained the audience with stories and jokes, then sang several songs with the Randy Copas Band, Rosie Young, and Karen Boldman.
Hughes was a frequent visitor to Adams County when she was a young girl. Her mother, Edna Lucille Markins, was from the Peebles area and frequently attended the Evergreen Church in the Steam Furnace community.
“When I was a child I always loved coming to Adams County,” Hughes said. “My grandfather lived in Blue Creek, so whenever Dad was in West Union or Peebles, we’d always go to visit him. We didn’t get to go very often, but I always looked forward to those visits.”
During her teenage years she frequently accompanied her famous father on his concert tours across America.
“At 16 years old I had the privilege of traveling with him and really getting to know him,” she said. “It was exciting, I got to meet a lot of other country and western singers, but I also had to keep up with my school work so I could graduate on time.”
Her favorite singer, she says, was Red Foley, who produced a string of hit songs including, “Have I Told You Lately that I Love You?”, “A Satisfied Mind”, and “Night Train to Memphis”.
Hughes also spent much of her childhood playing back stage at the Grand Old Opry’s Ryman Theater when her father was in Nashville performing.
“Bill Monroe had a dressing room beside Dad’s, so I got to hang out at the Opry and see a lot of the best singers who were performing at that time.”

The March 7, 1963 edition of The People’s Defender reported on the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of “Cowboy” Copas and Randy Hughes.

At 82 years-old, Hughes exudes an energy and enthusiasm that makes her seem almost ageless.
“I just saw my cousin Karen,” she says, her eyes lighting up as she points out a woman standing near the stage. “We knew each other as children, and she’s one of my favorite cousins because she’s a singer.”
Hughes is clearly moved by the community’s effort to keep her father’s legacy alive.
Copas died in a 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins as well as his son-in-law, Randy Hughes, who was piloting the plane.
Hughes was 28 when her husband and father died.
“It was difficult because I also lost my husband at the same time, he was Patsy Cline’s manager and the pilot of the plane.”
The three entertainers had traveled to Kansas City in March 1963 to put on a benefit concert at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall for disc jockey Cactus Jack Call, who died the previous December in an automobile accident.
“They did the show on a Sunday night and planned to come home the next day, but it was snowing and they had to hop from one location to another trying to find a route that was dry,” Hughes recalled. “They ended up in Tennessee and as they started toward the Tennessee River, Randy lost control of the plane, he tried to get back to the airport they’d just left, but his instruments were telling him something he couldn’t believe, and he crashed into a tree.”
A 1963 edition of the Nashville Banner reported that a local farmer, Sam Webb, whose farm was near the dense woodlands where the crash occurred, said he saw the the plane circling his home about 7 o’clock that evening and that it was “revving up its motor, going fast and then slow, like it was attempting to climb.” Webb said the plane left his sight and then he heard something “like it struck the top of some trees.” The weather in the area at the time of the accident was “extremely turbulent.”
“I can talk about it now, but at the time it was such a terrible shock,” says Hughes. “I’d just talked to Randy on the phone and he said ‘We’re on our way home, and 20 minutes later they were gone.'”
She says it took faith and a lot of praying to work through her grief.
“I just made up my mind that I’m not the only person in the world whose lost two loved ones at the same time,” she says. “I had child to raise and with help and faith, I got through it.”
She says she now feels proud of all the people who died in the crash.
“They chose to go in the dead of winter to put on a benefit show for the family of a man who perished in a car wreck. That’s what Christianity is all about, we help each other, and by helping, we grow.”
For many of those attending the memorial concert, Hughes served as reminder of days gone by, but she says she isn’t looking back.
“Life is ironic – the things I never thought would happen, happened, and the things I thought I couldn’t live without, I do – and believe me,” she says with a wink. “I’ve got a lot of living left to do.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© The People's Defender - All rights reserved