When one thinks of Patsy Cline's immortal "I Fall to Pieces" the songwriter most often mentioned is the legendary Harlan Howard. Many fail to mention that the great Hank Cochran was the co-writer of that song.
Hank Cochran passed away this morning (7/15) in Nashville. He had suffered from pancreatic cancer, and in April had undergone what his agent called a "miraculous" and "life-saving" operation for an aneurysm.
Cochran was a songwriter's songwriter in many regards. Classic legends such as Eddy Arnold ("I Want to Go with You") and Jim Reeves ("I'd Fight the World") recorded his songs; however, newer superstars such as George Strait and Vern Gosdin also performed his tunes. He could take a phrase and turn it masterfully, such as "It's Not Love, But It's Not Bad," which Merle Haggard recorded. He even made the chart singing his own song, "Sally Was a Good Ol' Girl."
The list of Hank Cochran-penned hits could stretch around Nashville a number of times: "She's Got You," "Ocean Front Property," "A Way to Survive," "Set 'Em Up Joe," "Make the World Go Away," "You're Stronger Than Me," and "A-11" are but a few. Sadly, this deserving legend has now passed, as have many others, without seeing his career crowned with a Country Music Hall of Fame plaque. They will likely rectify that omission in three years (once Cochran is eligible again), but it'll be too late for him.
The great Hank Cochran was 74.