Lloyd E. Copas

From Ohio History Central

Lloyd Estel Copas was a well-known American musician during the 1940s, 1950s, and early 1960s.

Copas was born on July 15, 1913, in Adams County, Ohio. Both of his parents were skilled musicians. While still a child, Copas became an excellent guitar and fiddle player. As a teenager, Copas performed on several radio stations in Ohio, most notably on WLW in Cincinnati.

Copas moved to Knoxville, Tennessee during the early 1940s. He later relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he starred on the "Grand Ole Opry" program. Copas became famous for his waltzes, most notably the "Tennessee Waltz." While Copas did not write this waltz, he was the first musician to record it. The song eventually became the official song of the State of Tennessee. Copas remained at the "Grand Ole Opry" from 1946 until his death on March 5, 1963. Copas died in a plane crash that also took the life of country singer Patsy Cline.

Lloyd Copas performed under the names "Cowboy Copas" and " The Oklahoma Cowboy."