Wednesday, February 28, 2007
– The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum starts its new quarterly programming series Poets and Prophets with a salute to songwriter Hank Cochran on March 24.
The interactive Poets and Prophets programs will include one-on-one interviews with the featured songwriter; audio-visual elements, including vintage recordings, photos and film clips; and, in some cases, performances. This first installment will be hosted by Museum Editor Michael Gray. Additional 2007 Poets and Prophets programs will follow in June, September and November.
In the nearly 50 years since Cochran moved to Music City, the songwriter has written or co-written "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "Make the World Go Away," "A Little Bitty Tear," "Don't Touch Me," "Why Can't He Be You," "The Chair" and "Ocean Front Property."
He will discuss these hits and more during the 60-minute program, and will also perform a few songs. Afterward, Cochran will sign autographs in the Museum Store.
Born Garland Perry Cochran in tiny Isola, Miss., Cochran spent part of his childhood in a Memphis orphanage before he dropped out of school and moved to California. While there, he met future rockabilly star Eddie Cochran (no relation) and formed a duo. As the Cochran Brothers, they appeared on TV's Town Hall Party and briefly backed Lefty Frizzell.
After having songs published by Pamper Music while in California, Cochran moved to Nashville in 1960 and was signed by Pamper at $50 a week to write and plug songs. Skeets McDonald recorded his "Where You Go I'll Follow" in 1959, and a prolific body of work and steady stream of hits followed. Most of Cochran's big hits were written solo, but at times he has co-written with such notables as Harlan Howard, Willie Nelson and Dean Dillon.
Cochran has also made several recordings, and in 1962 scored a Top 20 hit with "Sally Was a Good Old Girl." He was married for a decade to Grand Ole Opry star Jeannie Seely; her version of "Don't Touch Me" won a Grammy in 1966, and she saluted him with the 1967 album "Thanks Hank." Cochran was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1974.