Hank Cochran’s Hits; Merle Haggard Documentary; Joe Pug’s Arrival; Donna Beasley Reviewed

Brody Vercher | July 16th, 2010

  • 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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  1. Occasional Hope
    July 16, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    They’ve just showed the Haggard documentaery in the UK and it was fascinating. It isn’t as much focussed on his current life as you might expect from that description (a “candid documentary” which had filmmaker Gandulf Hennig following Haggard with his camera for the past three years”.) It’s definitely worth watching.

  2. Rick
    July 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for all the info on Hank Cochran and his passing. He definitely went out in style!

    Donna Beasley is a fine songwriter but I’d say CM got a little carried away in those comparisons! On the other hand if she were to start co-writing with the likes of Kim Richey, Leslie Satcher, Casey Kessel, or Angela Kaset that comparison may just be valid!

    Due to the political leanings of most of the artists to be featured at the Americana Festival this year (and every year for that matter), the name has officially been changed to “The Americana Obama-yo-mama Festival”…

    If ever there was an artist that needed a different stage last name its Joe Pug! How many people envision pug nose dog breeds when they hear that name? Come to think of it his name does work better than Joe Poodle, or Joe Dachshund. Never mind.

  3. Stormy
    July 16, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Why can’t we consider Kim Richey as an equal to Bruce Robison?

  4. Noeller
    July 17, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Wait a minute………….Ninety Five – Thirteen????

    Is it not “The Nine Five One Three” ??? And here I’ve been mistaken for a good year or more….colour me stunned!

  5. CMW
    July 17, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Lest my Robison/Foster comment be stretched further than I intended it to go, I should point out that I wrote that Beasley is that caliber of writer at her best. I don’t think she maintains the standard quite the way those guys do (yet), but she definitely hits it more than once. On her sophomore album. Not bad.

  6. Trailer
    July 17, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Noeller, I didn’t know how it was pronounced either. Mr. Wilcox filled me in.

  7. Noeller
    July 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    So then what’s Ninety-Five Thirteen mean??

  8. Thomas
    July 18, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    …seriously – is it “the ninety-five thirteen”?

  9. Andrew
    July 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    So then what’s Ninety-Five Thirteen mean??

    …seriously – is it “the ninety-five thirteen”?

    It is. Not exactly sure why the Verchers chose to pronounce it that way, but if I remember correctly 9513 was the number on the house where they grew up.

  10. Thomas
    July 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    …damned, first i had to find out that morgan freeman is not god and now this 9513 pronounciation reset.

  11. CMW
    July 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    I suspect “ninety-five thirteen” is preferred because it’s a more intuitive way of pronouncing a name derived from an address (find the back-story here).

  12. Andrew
    July 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Yeah, that occurred to me after I had already clicked submit.

  13. Matt Bjorke
    July 19, 2010 at 12:39 am

    I grew up in a house (“The house that built me?”) with a 1077 address and we called it Ten-Seventy-Seven and not one zero seven seven. So I understand the name thing.

  14. Leeann Ward
    July 19, 2010 at 7:11 am

    I believe I read that 9513 was the address of the Brady’s and Brody’s beloved late grandmother.

  15. Noeller
    July 19, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Well, I’ll be go to hell – whatdya know?! That does, indeed, make a lot of sense, based on the fact that it’s an address. Nine Five One Three is just awkward, in that context.

    Very cool to get the back story – congrats on a true success story, Vercher Boys.

  16. Brady Vercher
    July 19, 2010 at 9:43 am

    I feel like I have to chime in, but it looks like y’all already took care of the questions. Thanks guys! I coulda swore the pronunciation was on the About page, but I guess I overlooked that.

    Thanks Noeller.

  17. Michelle
    July 19, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I’ve been curious, myself, but didn’t want to ask. I’m glad Noeller did. The story behind it is awesome. I think the pronunciation AND the story behind the name should be on the About page. I was thinking, maybe Brady and Brody were 13 in ’95.LOL!

  18. Kelly
    July 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

    As someone who has hung out in the actual 9513, I can tell you all that it is indeed as magical as one might assume…magical.

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