GAC Album Review: Jamey Johnson’s Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran

Leave it to Jamey Johnson, one of traditional country music’s leading torchbearers, to assemble one of the most impressive call sheets in recent memory to honor his friend; the late, great songwriter, Hank Cochran. On Living for a Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran, available October 16, Jamey pulls together a guest list made up [...] Read More

The Life and Legacy of Hank Cochran

Hank Cochran, a legendary songwriter who had hits in four decades, died Thursday after battling pancreatic cancer. A longtime member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, his words and melodies were significant in the careers of such signature artists as George Strait, Patsy Cline, Keith Whitley and Eddy Arnold. Hank was part of the first generation of Nashville’s full-time songwriters. Born in Mississippi, he was living and performing in California when he signed his first songwriting contract in 1959 with Pamper Music, a publishing company owned in part by Ray Price. In January 1960, he moved to Music City, where he became a regular at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, a legendary music-business hangout. Tootsie’s provided an informal meeting room for country’s artists and writers, including Harlan Howard, Mel Tillis, Marty Robbins and Willie Nelson, who Hank first met there. He helped Willie get signed to Pamper and even gave up a raise to make sure the company could afford Willie. Hank’s legend was practically cemented when he and Harlan co-wrote “I Fall To Pieces,” a landmark Patsy Cline song with a nicely contoured melody and deftly direct lyrics. It was not just a great calling card. The National Endowment for the Arts named it one of 365 culturally significant recordings in a new-millennium list of the Songs of the Century. Read More