Dottie West: Age 58 | Cause Of Death: CAR CRASH

(b. Dorothy Marie Marsh, 11 October 1932, McMinnville, Tennessee, d. 4 September 1991)

In 1962, at the recommendation of Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins signed her to RCA Records. Her first US country chart hit Let Me Off At The Corner was in 1963, the same year that the first song she wrote, Is This Me, became a number 3 country hit for Jim Reeves. A country Top 10 solo hit of her own song Here Comes My Baby followed, which so successfully launched her career that between 1964-84, she charted a further 60 US country hits. The following year the song made her the first female country singer to win a Grammy. She has won many solo awards and in 1978 and 1979 she and Kenny Rogers were voted the Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year. She appeared in two films Second Fiddle To An Old Guitar and There’s A Still On The Hill, and has played the Grand Ole Opry regularly since first becoming a member in 1964. On Friday 30 August 1991, due to problems with her own car, she asked an 81-year-old neighbour to drive her to the Opry for her scheduled appearance. His car crashed at high speed when it left the ramp to the Opry car park, vaulted in the air and hit the central division. Both occupants were rushed to the Vanderbilt Medical Centre in a critical condition. Dottie West suffered a severe rupture of the liver and, in spite of several operations, surgeons could not control the bleeding. Although fully aware of the extent of her injuries, she was unable to speak and sadly died a few days later on 4 September.