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Hank Cochran, American country music singer-songwriter, died from pancreatic cancer he was , 74

Garland Perry “Hank” Cochran was an American country music singer and songwriter,died from pancreatic cancer he was , 74. Starting in the 1960s, Cochran has been 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, charting seven times on the Billboard

country charts, with his highest solo peak being the #20 “Sally Was a Good Old Girl.”

(August 2, 1935 ā€“ July 15, 2010)



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 think that he would survive. His parents divorced when he was 9. He moved with his father to Memphis, Tennessee, but then went to an orphanage. He was sent to live with his grandparents, in Waynesboro, 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.[2] 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.[2]

Aged 24 he moved to Nashville in 1960, and teamed up with Harlan Howard to write “I Fall to Pieces.” It became a major hit for Patsy Cline (recorded November 16, 1960), reaching #1 on the Billboard country charts and #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, #1 on the country charts and #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 right away, and by the time he reached home fifteen minutes later had composed “Make the World Go Away.” Ray Price recorded the song, and it reached #2 on the Billboard country carts in 1963. The following year Eddy Arnold would make the song his signature hit, reaching #1 on the country charts and then in 1965 #6 on the overall Billboard Hot 100 charts (his highest rated song ever).[2] Arnold would also record the song “I Want to Go with You“.

Cochran wrote several hit 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 record for Ronnie Milsap, and Mickey Gilley (“That’s All That Matters”).

While working at publishing company Pamper Music, he used to spend nights playing at a Nashville bar called Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. While there a new guy showed up whose talent left Cochran amazed. He then encouraged management to sign the young songwriter, Willie Nelson, giving Nelson a raise that was coming to him at the time.[2]

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,[2] and his collaboration with Vern Gosdin for the 1988 album Chiseled in Stone (Gosdin’s highest rated album at #7).[3]

In 2008, he let singer Lea Anne Creswell come to his home and pick out an album’s worth of songs which the artist released on the album title Lea Anne Sings Hank Cochran and ….[4]


Cochran had been married five times, lastly to wife Suzi since 1982.[2]


He had cancerous tumors surgically removed from his pancreas and lymph node at a Nashville Hospital in July 2008. Cochran had a grapefruit-sized aortic aneurysm removed at a Nashville hospital in April 2010. He died on July 15, 2010, aged 74. [5]

Awards and honors

List of awards and honors include:[2]

Artist recordings

Notable artists who have recorded his songs include:[2]

Chart singles

Year Single Peak chart positions[1]
US Country
1962 “Sally Was a Good Old Girl” 20
“I’d Fight the World” 23
1963 “A Good Country Song” 25
1967 “All of Me Belongs to You” 70
1978 “Willie” 91
“Ain’t Life Hell” (with Willie Nelson) 77
1980 A Little Bitty Tear” (with Willie Nelson) 57

To see more of who died in 2010 click here


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