By Walter Price
This year’s Country Music Hall Of Fame names have been announced and, well, interesting threesome. Ronnie Milsapwas huge in the 70’s and 80’s but was always a bit too pop for my taste and Mac Wiseman’s name has always, in my opinion, been overshadowed by names like Earl Scruggs and Bill Monroe but good to see his legacy being remembered.
The name that sticks out from this years honorees is songwriter, Hank Cochran. One of the first songwriters I ever studied along side names like Dylan, Lennon, McCartney and Williams.His words have been interpreted by some of the very best. Merle Haggard, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Norah Jones, Waylon Jennings, George Jones and most recently Jamey Johnson with his badass tribute Living for a Song – A Tribute to Hank Cochran…
CMT: Born Aug. 2, 1935, in Isola, Miss., Cochran moved to Nashville in 1959 and emerged as one of country music’s most popular songwriters of the 1960s, earning cuts with Arnold’s “Make the World Go Away” and “I Want to Go With You,” Cline’s “She’s Got You” and “I Fall to Pieces,” Jones’ “You Comb Her Hair,” Johnny Paycheck’s “A-11,” Ray Price’s “A Way to Survive” and “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” Jim Reeves’ “I’d Fight the World” and Ernest Tubb’s “Through That Door.” Cochran and longtime friend Willie Nelson also co-wrote “Undo the Right,” a Top 10 hit in 1968 for Johnny Bush.
Cochran notched three Top 30 hits as a solo artist in the early 1960s with “Sally Was a Good Old Girl,” “I’d Fight the World” and “A Good Country Song.” Meanwhile, his compositions led to Grammy awards for Burl Ives’ “Funny Way of Laughin'” in 1962 and Jeannie Seely’s “Don’t Touch Me” in 1966. He and Seely were married from 1969 to 1979.
In the 1970s, his notable cuts included Merle Haggard’s “It’s Not Love (But It’s Not Bad)” and Loretta Lynn’s “Why Can’t He Be You,” a remake from Cline’s catalog. Cochran also released duets with Haggard in 1978 and Nelson in 1980, though none of the recordings cracked the Top 40. He was elected to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1974. (Read The Full CMT Article HERE)