Hank Cochran’s Hits; Merle Haggard Documentary; Joe Pug’s Arrival; Donna Beasley Reviewed
- Three years ago, Hank Cochran was chosen as the inaugural guest for the Country Music Hall of Fame’s “Poets and Prophets” series, a program designed to highlight the careers of the genre’s best writers. Leading up to that guest spot, Cochran appeared on WSM with Eddie Stubbs to tell the stories behind some of his greatest hits, which Matt C. relayed to The 9513 audience. Here’s one of those vignettes:
Patsy Cline had only two number one songs in her lifetime and Hank Cochran wrote both of them. The first, “I Fall to Pieces” was written by Hank and fellow songwriting legend Harlan Howard. When Harlan finished a song, he would throw the recording in a large box in his house and forget about it. One of Hank’s jobs at Pamper Publishing was to go to Harlan’s house, pull recordings from the box and pitch the good ones to artists. Harlan helped Hank finish “I Fall to Pieces” on one of these visits and Owen Bradley pronounced the song a hit after hearing Hank sing an a capella version. Patsy agreed to record the song after hearing the demo but soured on it immediately before the recording session and refused to cut it. The song was recorded only after Owen Bradley tricked Patsy into agreeing that she could record any song that she wanted if she would record any song that Owen wanted. Owen’s choice, of course, was “I Fall to Pieces.”
Cochran also discussed the songs “Make the World Go Away,” “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” “Little Bitty Tear,” “Ocean Front Property,” “I Fall To Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “The Chair,” and “A-11.”
- The Tennessean‘s Cindy Watts published some of the details of Cochran’s last night, which included music from Jamey Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Buddy Cannon.
“Billy sung a Merle Haggard song and he sung his big hit ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ and Hank was singing along in the chorus,” Cannon said. “He was so weak you couldn’t hear him, but he was joining in anyway. It was a very emotional evening.”
When the three performers stopped playing at one point, Mr. Cochran asked them not to leave and they continued. Their visit had come on the heels of a call from Haggard, so the men ended the night with Haggard hit “Going Where the Lonely Go.”
- No Depression’s Grant Alden remembers Cochran as an exuberant fellow.
This great frog of a fellow beat me in the door, all Hawaiian shirt and flip flops and skinny white legs, and somehow I gleaned that this was Hank Cochran. He had songs to pitch — directly — to Ray Price, and he was as excited as a teenager, as if he’d never had a hit in his life.
- Tim McGraw, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson are among the guests that will be featured on Jerry Lee Lewis‘ new album, Mean Old Man, when it’s released on Sept. 7.
- C.M. Wilcox places Donna Beasley on the same level as Bruce Robison and Radney Foster as a songwriter.
Whether Under the Rushes has any impact with the general audience or not, it should be on the radar of the Nashville recording community, if only so they can pillage it for wildly successful cover versions [...]. Here Nashville, I’ll do some of the work for you: resilient Texas rocker “Heart Like a Wound” belongs on Miranda Lambert’s next album, and “The Little Things” is a classic Pam Tillis torch song.
Comment on the review by next Friday for a chance to win a copy.
- Announced performers for the 9th Annual Americana Honors & Awards later this year include: Emmylou Harris, the Avett Brothers, Rodney Crowell, Wanda Jackson, Rosanne Cash, Patty Griffin, Sam Bush, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ryan Bingham, Corb Lund, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Joe Pug, and Will Kimbrough.
- Peter Cooper profiled Joe Pug, who is up for a new and emerging artist trophy at the previously mentioned Americana Awards.
- Country Universe’s countdown of the 400 greatest singles of the nineties marches on with numbers 325 through 301.
- Farce the Music used Brad Paisley‘s song “Water” to parody all of us bloggers.
With my new friends
We’re in the know, or we pretend
Jimmy Wayne is a wuss
I make fun of him
I’m a blogger
- On Wednesday, July 21 at 9 p.m. (ET), PBS will premiere Merle Haggard: Learning to Live with Myself, the newest episode in the American Masters series. The episode is being billed as a “candid documentary” which had filmmaker Gandulf Hennig following Haggard with his camera for the past three years.
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