Iconic songwriter Hank Cochran died Thursday morning at his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
The writer behind country standards including “Make the World Go Away,” “She’s Got You,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “The Chair,” “Ocean Front Property,” “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” “Is It Raining at Your House,” “That’s All That Matters,” “Set ‘Em Up Joe,” “This Ain’t My First Rodeo,” and many more, Cochran built a multi-decade career as he helped compose the great American songbook.
Eddy Arnold, Chet Atkins, Ray Price, Elvis Presley, Lawrence Welk, George Jones, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Ronnie Milsap, Bobby Bare, Don Gibson, Burl Ives, Patsy Cline, Dottie West, Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Buffett, Jim Reeves, Elvis Costello, Vern Gosdin, Linda Ronstadt, Faron Young, Mickey Gilley, Tom Jones, Reba McEntire and the Statler Brothers, as well as Leann Rimes, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lynn Anderson, Junior Brown, Johnny Cash, Keith Whitley, Bing Crosby, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Dean Martin, Wayne Newton, Buck Owens, Nancy Sinatra, Ernest Tubb, Lee Ann Womack and many more all recorded his heart-breaking, wryly simple songs.
“Hank Cochran set the standard,” said BMI’s Jody Williams. “He wasn’t just part of the golden era of country music—he helped define it. A generous purveyor of talent who helped countless other songwriters and artists, Hank was one of a kind.”
Cochran’s catalogue has generated almost 36 million performances, which, if played back to back, would amount to more than 200 years of continuous airplay. Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1974, he received 22 BMI Country Awards and 6 BMI Pop Awards.
BMI saluted the legend in 2009 with an intimate reception, during which Cochran’s peers including Merle Haggard and Bobby Bare, along with admirers including Jamey Johnson and Lee Ann Womack, performed his songs in a spellbinding acoustic tribute.
An artist and friend whose talent was only matched by his generosity, Mr. Cochran will be missed, but never forgotten.
Pictured above: Hank Cochran celebrates with friends at BMI in June 2009.