By Tim Ghianni
NASHVILLE (Reuters) - Charlie Dick, 81, who spent his life keeping alive the legacy of his wife, Patsy Cline after her death in 1963, has died at his home in Nashville, his family said.
Dick died in his sleep on Sunday, the family said in a posting on the official Patsy Cline Facebook page, calling it a "sad day for those of you who have been so supportive of Mom's legacy over the years."
Cline was killed in a March 5, 1963, plane crash and Dick devoted most of his time to keeping alive the memory of the singer who gave a pop edge to country music with songs like “Crazy” and “Sweet Dreams.”
Dick helped keep Cline’s profile high by attending events where she was honored and also worked hard to protect her image and promote her music.
He was instrumental in reissues of his wife's music as well as in the posthumous release of some previously undiscovered recordings.
"It was ‘63 that she was killed in that crash, and she was a huge star at the time. But she’s still popular worldwide now," Country Music Hall of Fame singer and guitarist Mac Wiseman, 90, a close friend of the couple said on Monday of Dick's work.
"Sweet Dreams" became the title of a 1985 film that in part focused in part on a turbulent relationship between Cline and her husband. Dick maintained it was a good movie but that it was pretty much fiction.
"He and Patsy didn’t always agree on everything, but she loved him. And vice versa," said Wiseman, who had weekly phone conversations with Dick and met with him frequently.
After Cline's death, Dick kept busy in the Nashville music industry, working with the late singer Red Sovine and other acts at Starday Records, for which he was national promotions man.
Cline and Dick had two children and he had a son after he remarried.
(Editing By Jill Serjeant and Alan Crosby)