5 things you didn’t know about Dottie West

18 Aug

Dottie West was the reigning queen of Country music more than 2 decades of her 32 year career. Her career took her from total poverty to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and Carnage Hall. She started her rise as a singer/songwriter/actress when a female preforming artist was a rarity in Country music. She opened the door for such up and coming women as Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire, Barbra Mandrell, and Crystal Gayle just to name a few. During her career she preformed and rubbed elbows with some of the biggest names in the business.

Outside of the music Dottie West’s life was full of highs and lows that shaped her in the woman that became the face of Country in the 1960’s – 80’s. The following are just 5 of those life altering events:

She had an abusive childhood

Starting at a young age Dorothy “Dottie” Marie Marsh had to endure sexual abuse from her alcoholic father. The abuse went on for years until young Dorothy’s junior year of high school. At the age of 17 she found the courage to press charges and testify again her father. He was then given 40 years in prison where he died.

She was in a band in high school

At the age of 12 Dorothy began playing the guitar. By the time she was in high school music had become a very important part of her life. It was then that she joined her first band “The Coonskins” were she played guitar and sang. Her talent won her a music scholarship to Tennessee Technological University. While at the University she met and married Bill West.

She was friends with Patsy Cline

When Dottie & Bill West moved to Nashville they met quite a few people in the Country music business but were struggling to restart the music career they had back in Ohio. Among the peopole they met was Patsy Cline. She would help the couple out by hiring they for very jobs and offer to help them with rent. One day the couple was at a concert with Patsy Cline and offer to drive her back to Nashville. Ms. Cline opted to take a plane along with her manager and some of the other headliners. It turned out to be a poor choice for Ms. Cline when the plane crashed killing all aboard.

She declared bankruptcy

By the Summer of 1990 Dottie West was experiencing financial hardships. Her career ha been declining for several years, her financial manager had made several bad investments, she was facing a few lawsuits, and she owed over 1 million to the IRS. In August of that year she was forced to file for bankruptcy. Soon all of her assets were being sold and/or reposed.

She died on the operating table

On August 30, 1991 sustained internal injuries in a horrific car wreck. Ms. West didn’t think she had suffered any injuries and decline medical attention. It wasn’t until days later that it was apparent that she did have damage to both her spleen and liver. On September 4, 1991 she was being operated on for those injuries when she passed away on the operating table.


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