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Hank Cochran
Hank Cochran.jpg
Background information
Birth name Garland Perry Cochran[1]
Born (1935-08-02)August 2, 1935[1]
Isola, Mississippi
Died July 15, 2010(2010-07-15) (aged 74)
Nashville, Tennessee
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar[1]
Years active 1960–2010
Labels Liberty, Monument, Capitol, Elektra[1]
Associated acts Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Eddie Cochran

Garland Perry "Hank" Cochran (August 2, 1935 – July 15, 2010) was an American country music singer and songwriter. Starting during the 1960s, Cochran was a prolific songwriter in the genre, including major hits by Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold and others. Cochran was also a recording artist between 1962 and 1980, scoring seven times on the Billboard country music charts, with his greatest solo success being the No. 20 "Sally Was a Good Old Girl." In 2014 he will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.[2]


Born during the Great Depression in Isola, Mississippi, he contracted pneumonia, whooping cough, measles, and mumps all about the same time at age 2. The doctor didn't believe that he would survive. His parents divorced when he was 9 years old. He relocated with his father to Memphis, Tennessee, but then was put into an orphanage. He was sent to live with his grandparents, in Greenville, Mississippi, after he had run away from the orphanage twice. His uncle Otis Cochran taught him how to play the guitar as the pair hitchhiked from Mississippi to southeastern New Mexico to work in the oilfields.[3] After returning to Mississippi in his teens, he went to California and picked olives. While there he formed The Cochran Brothers, a duo with un-related Eddie Cochran.[3]

Aged 24 he hitchhiked for Hollywood, but ended up going to Nashville in 1960, and teamed with Harlan Howard to write the song "I Fall to Pieces." It became a major success for Patsy Cline (recorded November 16, 1960), reaching No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts and No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 (chart for all music categories). Cline also recorded Cochran's "She's Got You" (recorded December 17, 1961, it was another major hit, No. 1 on the country charts and No. 14 on the Hot 100), and "Why Can't He Be You" (recorded September 5, 1962).

In 1960, he was on a date at a movie theater when the film inspired him. He left the theater quickly, and by the time he got home fifteen minutes later had composed "Make the World Go Away." Ray Price recorded the song, and it scored No. 2 on the Billboard country charts in 1963. The next year Eddy Arnold would make the song his signature hit, scoring No. 1 on the country music charts and then in 1965 No. 6 on the overall Billboard Hot 100 charts (his highest rated song ever).[3] Arnold would also record the song "I Want to Go with You".

Cochran wrote several successful songs sung by Burl Ives ("A Little Bitty Tear", "It's Just My Funny Way of Laughin'", "The Same Old Hurt"). He also wrote songs for George Strait ("The Chair" with Dean Dillon and "Ocean Front Property" with Dillon and Royce Porter), Merle Haggard ("It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)"), "Don't You Ever Get Tired (of Hurting Me)", a No. 1 scoring record for Ronnie Milsap, and Mickey Gilley ("That's All That Matters").

While working at publishing company Pamper Music, he used to spend nights performing in a Nashville tavern named Tootsie's Orchid Lounge. There he took notice of a new performer whose talent left Cochran amazed. He encouraged management to contract the young songwriter, Willie Nelson, giving Nelson a raise that was owed to him at the time.[3]

Two of his fondest memories were working with Natalie Cole (among other artists) on a 2003 tribute album to Patsy Cline (Remembering Patsy Cline), because of his love for her father Nat King Cole,[3] and his collaboration with Vern Gosdin for the 1988 album Chiseled in Stone (Gosdin's highest rated album at No. 7).[4]

In 2008, he let singer Lea Anne Creswell come to his home and choose an album's worth of songs, which the artist released with the album title Lea Anne Sings Hank Cochran and ....[5]


Cochran was married five times, Jeannie Seely was his fourth bride, and Suzi his fifth, from 1982.[3]


He had cancerous tumors removed surgically from his pancreas and lymph node at a Nashville hospital in July 2008, and a grapefruit-sized aortic aneurysm removed at a Nashville hospital in April 2010. He died on July 15, 2010, age 74.[6]


In October 2012, singer Jamey Johnson released Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, which features his renditions of sixteen songs that Cochran wrote.[7]

Awards and honors[edit]

Awards and honors include:[3]

Artist recordings[edit]

Notable artists who have recorded his songs include:[3]



Year Album US Country Label
1965 Hits from the Heart RCA
Going on Training
1968 The Heart of Hank 41 Monument
1978 With a Little Help from My Friends Capitol
1980 Make the World Go Away Elektra


Year Single Peak chart positions[1] Album
US Country
1962 "Sally Was a Good Old Girl" 20 Going on Training
"I'd Fight the World" 23 Hits from the Heart
1963 "A Good Country Song" 25 single only
1967 "All of Me Belongs to You" 70 The Heart of Hank
1978 "Willie" 91 With a Little Help from My Friends
"Ain't Life Hell" (with Willie Nelson) 77
1980 "A Little Bitty Tear" (with Willie Nelson) 57 Make the World Go Away


  • Oermann, Robert K. (1998). – "Hank Cochran". – The Encyclopedia of Country Music. – Paul Kingsbury, Editor. – New York: Oxford University Press. – pp. 101–2. – ISBN 978-0-19-517608-7
  1. ^ a b c d e Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 97. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. 
  2. ^ a b "Country Hall of Fame Taps Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman, Hank Cochran". Rolling Stone. 2014-04-22. Retrieved 2014-04-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Watkins, Billy. – "Everybody wants to sing". – The Clarion-Ledger. – August 6, 2003.
  4. ^ Cooper, Peter. – "The man, the mystery and the mega-hits". – The Tennessean. – March 23, 2007.
  5. ^ Moon, Troy. – "Songwriter lends talent to CD, but will Willie be at release party?". – Pensacola News Journal. – May 18, 2001.
  6. ^ Schneider, Jason (1935-08-02). "Country Music Hero Hank Cochran Dies at 74 • News •". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  7. ^ http://www.theboot.com/2012/07/31/jamey-johnson-album-hank-cochran-living-for-a-song/

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hank_Cochran — Please support Wikipedia.
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29645 videos foundNext > 

Hank Cochran - I Fall To Pieces [Live]

Jamey Johnson - Living For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

Preview the entire album at iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LivingForASong.

Hank Cochran Tells a Story About Him and George Jones

I was sitting at home relfecting on the passing of George Jones and remembered meeting him at Hank Cochran's memorial service. I thought again of my old friend, Hank, and remembered this little...

Jeannie Seely's Hit "Don't Touch Me" - Hank Cochran Tells "The Story Behind the Song"

In this one-minute clip, the late Hank Cochran tells the story behind the song "Don't Touch Me" which became a hit for Jeannie Seely. The song has been recorded by dozens of other artists including...

Hank Cochran - I Fall To Pieces

Hank Cochran - I Fall To Pieces - written by Hank Cochran & Harlan Howard 1965 album - Hits From The Heart - track 6.

Hank Cochran Medley [Live]

Hank Cochran "Has Anybody Seen Me Lately"

I hate it when I feel that way myself! Hank's definitely one of the top 10 country songwriters of all time if you ask me, and his singing isn't anything to scoff at either. And this year, he...

"Livin For a Song" Hank Cochran an American Songwriter

Film trailer for "Livin for a Song" Hank Cochran documentary Reel Cool Films/Toppa Poppa Jons Production.

HANK COCHRAN - A GOOD Country Song (1963)

Despite being a Top 25 hit, this is a much-overlooked recording — one that truly lives up to its title. Also surprising is that, until now, this gem could not be found posted. In the video...

Hank Cochran - Make The World Go Away

Hank Cochran - Make The World Go Away - 1965 album - Hits From The Heart - track 9.

29645 videos foundNext > 

1409 news items


Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:03:45 -0700

"I'd fight the world," sang Hank Cochran on his 1961 single of the same name, but in 2010 he lost a battle few can win: one with pancreatic cancer. It's the same illness that took Waylon Jennings' longtime manager Nikki Mitchell, whose namesake ...

FOX News Radio

FOX News Radio
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 03:45:31 -0700

They're all coming together to honor honoring Country Music Hall of Fame members Ray Price, Hank Cochran, The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Felice Bryant, and Webb Pierce, and Merlin Littlefield. Performers include Jessi Colter, ...

The Tennessean

The Tennessean
Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:05:03 -0700

Carlene Carter, Jessi Colter, Shooter Jennings, Jamey Johnson, Angaleena Presley and The Secret Sisters will celebrate the lives of several artists who were affected by pancreatic cancer, including Webb Pierce, Ray Price, Hank Cochran, The Carter ...

The Boot

The Boot
Sun, 29 Mar 2015 06:17:51 -0700

Kris Kristofferson, Faron Young, Willie Nelson, Hall, Hank Cochran, Tillis, Roger Miller, Webb Pierce, Waylon Jennings and Patsy Cline are just a few of the many artists who got their start in the club. Bess was known to slip money to those who walked ...

The Boot

The Boot
Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:03:45 -0700

The event will honor eight country artists who have been affected by pancreatic cancer, including Ray Price, Hank Cochran, the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Felice Bryant, Webb Pierce and Merlin Littlefield. The Nikki Mitchell ...


Thu, 08 Jan 2015 15:44:00 -0800

... likes of Willie Nelson ("Funny How Time Slips Away"), Bob Wills ("Faded Love," made famous by Patsy Cline) and Monroe and Lester Flatt ("Little Cabin on the Hill"), Elvis Country also included Presley's take on Hank Cochran's "Make the World Go Away.".

Country Weekly

Country Weekly
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 07:25:09 -0700

Three eras of country music history were represented tonight (Oct. 26) as Ronnie Milsap, Mac Wiseman and Hank Cochran were formally inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame at the Medallion Ceremony.

Nashville Scene

Nashville Scene
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:18:45 -0700

Sure, there was a red carpet, and wait staff working the room with trays of champagne flutes and an elegant, catered reception afterward. The Country Music Hall of Fame's Medallion Ceremony is that sort of occasion. But once the roughly 800 guests were ...

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