Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson Surprise Songwriter Hank Cochran

Merle Haggard, Jamey Johnson and Lee Ann Womack were among the country artists at a surprise party for songwriter Hank Cochran at Nashville’s BMI offices on Monday (June 15). Cochran was honored for his 50th anniversary as a songwriter. Other guests included Bobby Bare, Cowboy Jack Clement, Elvis Costello, Dean Dillon, Dallas Frazier, Red Lane, Jim Lauderdale, Jeannie Seely, Whitey Shafer and Gene Watson. In addition, Willie Nelson called in to offer his congratulations. Cochran’s extensive catalog includes country classics such as Eddy Arnold‘s “Make the World Go Away,” Patsy Cline‘s “I Fall to Pieces” and “She’s Got You” and George Strait‘s “The Chair” and “Ocean Front Property.”