Hank Cochran

Induction Year: 1974

Birth Name: Garland Perry Cochran

Birth Date: 08-02-1935

Place of Birth: Isola, Mississippi

Death Date: 07-15-2010

Place of Death: Nashville, Tennessee

Hank Cochran was a pluperfect country songwriter. He wrote 29 Top 10 hits over a 30-year span, which also makes him one of the most consistently successful ones in history.

His "Make the World Go Away" and "I Fall to Pieces" have both been recorded by more than 100 artists. "Don't Touch Me," "The Chair," "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me," "I Fall to Pieces" and "She's Got You" are all certified as having been broadcast more than one million times each. "Make the World Go Away" is a two-million-performance song.

Born in rural Mississippi, Cochran was taught to play guitar as a child by his uncle, Otis Cochran. Hank dropped out of school at age 12 and hitchhiked to New Mexico with Otis. They both went to work on oil rigs.

At age 16, Cochran migrated to California with music on his mind. In 1954, he teamed up with future rockabilly star Eddie Cochran (no relation) to form the Cochran Brothers country duo. After serving in the Army and working at Sears, Hank Cochran obtained a songwriting job at the West Coast branch of Pamper Music.

He transferred to the company's Nashville office in 1960 and became Pamper's song plugger as well as a staff writer. He famously signed Willie Nelson to the firm by foregoing his own $50-a-week raise and giving it to Nelson. The two subsequently wrote several songs together and were enduring friends.

In 1961, Patsy Cline's version of "I Fall to Pieces" became Cochran's first big songwriting success. By the end of 1962, he had landed 10 songs on the charts. Cline, Ray Price, Eddy Arnold, Norma Jean and Cochran's then-wife Jeannie Seely were particularly partial to his songs in the 1960s and early 1970s. During the 1970s and '80s, Cochran saw some of his earlier hit songs re-recorded — "She's Got You" (Loretta Lynn), "That's All That Matters" (Mickey Gilley) and "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" (Ronnie Milsap) — and successfully revived to become #1 hits. Cochran had yet another career renewal during the 1980s with a clutch of new songs recorded by Vern Gosdin, Keith Whitley and George Strait.

Cochran recorded his own LPs for RCA, Monument, Capitol and Elektra. In 2012, he became the subject of a posthumous documentary film titled Livin' for a Song, as well as a tribute album spearheaded by Jamey Johnson.
 

"A Way to Survive"

(written with Moneen Carpenter)

Ray Price1966 #7 country
Dottie West1967 
Roy Clark1968 
Monty Holmes1989 #82 country
Junior Brown1990 
Gene Watson1997 
Leon Russell & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"A-11"

Buck Owens1964 #54 country
Johnny Paycheck1965 #26 country
Norma Jean1966 
Hank Cochran1980 
Clinton Gregory1995 
Daryle Singletary2002 
Ronnie Dunn & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"Don't Touch Me"

Jeannie Seely1966 #2 country, #29 adult contemporary, #85 pop
Wilma Burgess1966 #12 country
Don Gibson1966 
Eddy Arnold1966 
Ray Price1966 
Tammy Wynette1967 
Dottie West1967 
Wanda Jackson1968 
Bettye Swann1969 #14 R&B, #38 pop
Lynn Anderson1969 
Norma Jean1971 
Roy Clark1971 
Carl Smith1972 
Jerry Naylor & Kelli Warren1979 #69 country
Brenda Joyce1979 #96 country
T. G. Sheppard1980 
Janie Fricke1988 
Lorrie Morgan1994 
Etta James1997 
George Jones1998 
Diane Schuur2011 
Emmylou Harris & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me"

Ray Price1966 #11 country
George Jones1966 
Dottie West1966 
Willie Nelson1966 
Bettye Swann1969 
Connie Cato1977 #92 country
Merle Haggard1978 
Willie Nelson & Ray Price1981 #11 country
Jack Greene1986 
Ronnie Milsap1989 #1 country
Gene Watson2007 
Jamey Johnson & Willie Nelson2012 
 

"Funny Way of Laughing"

Burl Ives1962 #9 country, #10 pop
Jeannie Seely1967 
Jim Ed Brown1968 
 

"Go on Home"

Patti Page1962 #13 country, #42 pop
Ernest Tubb1962 
Hank Cochran1963 
Willie Nelson1966 

"I Fall to Pieces"

(written with Harlan Howard)

Patsy Cline1961 #1 country, #12 pop
Faron Young1961 
The Wilburn Brothers1961 
Bobby Vinton1962 
Johnny Tillotson1962 
Ferlin Husky1962 
Dottie West1964 
Ray Price1964 
Eddy Arnold1964 
Carla Thomas1966 
Lynn Anderson1969 
Sonny James1969 
Tracy Nelson1969 
Diana Trask1970 #37 country
Linda Ronstadt1971 
Conway Twitty1971 
Loretta Lynn1977 
Mary Miller1977 #89 country
Patsy Cline (reissue)1981 #61 country
Billie Jo Spears1981 
Jim Reeves & Patsy Cline1982 #54 country
Crystal Gayle1993 
Trisha Yearwood & Aaron Neville1994 #72 country
LeAnn Rimes1999 
Anne Murray2002 
Natalie Cole2003 
Willie Nelson2007  
Mandy Barnett2011 
Merle Haggard & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"I Want to Go with You"

Eddy Arnold1966 #1 country, #36 pop
Kitty Wells1966 
Jeannie Seely1967 
Bill Monroe1970 
 

"I'd Fight the World"

(written with Joe Allison)

Hank Cochran1962 #23 country
Johnny & Jonie Mosby1962 
Bobby Bare1963 
Ray Price1966 
Jean Shepard & Ray Pillow1966 
Esther Phillips1966 
Bill Anderson & Jan Howard1967 
Roy Clark1968 
Wanda Jackson1970 
Jim Reeves1974 #19 country
Bobby Bare & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"Is it Raining at Your House"

(written with Dean Dillon, Vern Gosdin)

Vern Gosdin1991 #10 country
Brad Paisley2003 

"It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad)"

(written with Glenn W. Martin)

Merle Haggard1972 #1 country
Ernest Tubb1972 
Conway Twitty1973 
Jean Shepard1973 
Pure Prairie League1974 
Marty Robbins1975 
Emmylou Harris1982 
Chris Hillman1996 
 

"Little Bitty Tear"

Burl Ives1962 #2 country, #9 pop
Wanda Jackson1962 #84 pop
George Jones1962 
Porter Wagoner & Skeeter Davis1962 
Webb Pierce1963 
Chet Atkins1963 
Slim Whitman1963 
Cowboy Copas1963 
Eddy Arnold1964 
Bing Crosby1965 
Jeannie Seely1967 
Don Gibson1969 
Norma Jean1971 
Hank Cochran & Willie Nelson1980 #57 country
Ray Charles2010 

"Make the World Go Away"

Timi Yuro1963 #24 pop
Ray Price1963 #2 country, #100 pop
Hank Cochran1963 
Kitty Wells1964 
Eydie Gormé1964 
Jim Reeves1965 
Eddy Arnold1965 #1 country, #6 pop
Brenda Lee1966 
Pat Boone1966 
Al Martino1966 
Jimmy Dean1966 
King Curtis1966 
Jimmy C. Newman1966 
Roy Drusky1966 
Chet Atkins1967 
Johnny Paycheck1968 
Webb Pierce1967 
John Gary1967 
Roy Clark1968 
Billy Walker1968 
Dottie West1969 
Dinah Shore1969 
Tom Jones1969 
Nancy Wilson1969 
Norma Jean1969 
Elvis Presley1970 
Dean Martin1970 
Hank Williams Jr.1970 
Henry Mancini1970 
Faron Young1971 
Jim Nabors1971 
Donny & Marie Osmond1975 #44 pop, #71 country
Charly McClain1977 #73 country
Hank Cochran & Jeannie Seely1980 
Anne Murray2002 
Martina McBride2005 
Johnny Mathis2010 
Raul Malo2012 
Alison Krauss & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"Miami, My Amy"

(written with Dean Dillon, Royce Porter)

Keith Whitley1986 #14 country
Daryl Singletary2007 
 

"Ocean Front Property"

(written with Dean Dillon, Royce Porter)

George Strait1987 #1 country

"Set 'Em Up Joe"

(written with Dean Dillon, Vern Gosdin, Murray Cannon)

Vern Gosdin1988 #1 country
David Frizzell2002 

"She's Got You"

Patsy Cline1962 #1 country, #14 pop
Hank Cochran1963 
Dottie West1964 
Brook Benton1966 
Eddy Arnold1967 
Dean Martin1967 
Loretta Lynn1977 #1 country
Don McLean1987 #73 country
Ricky Van Shelton1988 
Elvis Costello1994 
Jimmy Buffett1994 
LeAnn Rimes1999 
Little Milton2001 
Lee Ann Womack2003 
Rosanne Cash2009 
Mandy Barnett2011 
 

"That's All That Matters"

Ray Price1964 #34 country
Kenny Price1967 
Glen Campbell1968 
Roy Clark1971 
Con Hunley1979 
Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn1980 
Mickey Gilley1980 #1 country
Tom Jones1985 
 

"The Chair"

(written with Dean Dillon)

George Strait1985 #1 country
 

"This Ain't My First Rodeo"

(written with Max Burns, Vern Gosdin)

Vern Gosdin1990 #14 country
Lee Ann Womack & Jamey Johnson2012 
 

"Tight as Twin Fiddles"

(written with Dean Dillon)

Vern Gosdin1987 
 

"Undo the Right"

(written with Willie Nelson)

Willie Nelson1962 
Johnny Bush1968 #10 country
Wade Hayes1996 
Tracy Byrd1999 
 

"What Would Your Memories Do"

(written with Dean Dillon)

Vern Gosdin1984 #10 country
George Strait1995 
 

"When You Need a Laugh"

Patsy Cline1964 #47 country
 

"Who You Gonna Blame It on This Time"

(written with Vern Gosdin)

Vern Gosdin1989 #2 country
 

"Why Can't He Be You"

Patsy Cline1962 
Hank Cochran1963 
Loretta Lynn1977 #7 country
Reba McEntire1977 
Norah Jones2003 
Diane Schuur2011 
 

"Wish I Didn't Have to Miss You"

Jack Greene & Jeannie Seely1969 #2 country
Jimmy Dean & Dottie West1970 
Norma Jean1971 
 

"You Comb Her Hair"

(written with Harlan Howard)

George Jones1963 #5 country
Hank Cochran1963 
Johnny Cash1966 
Jim Ed Brown1966 
Del Reeves1975 #92 country
The Statler Brothers1977 
 

"You Wouldn't Know Love"

(written with David Kirby)

Ray Price1970 #8 country
Norma Jean1971 
Barbara Mandrell1990 
Jamey Johnson & Ray Price2012 
 

"You're Stronger Than Me"

(written with Jimmy Key)

Patsy Cline1962 
Ray Price1963 
George Strait2000 
Rebecca Lynn Howard2003 

Hank Cochran

Induction Year: 1974