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Setting the record straight for Howard

Eddie McIlwaine's erudite column in your Saturday Review (August 7) refers to the recent death of country legend Hank Cochran, and talks of his song-writing prowess - particularly the hits he penned for Patsy Cline.

To put the record straight, he co-wrote I Fall To Pieces with another Nashville legend, Harlan Howard (born Detroit, Michigan 1927, died 2002).

I had the privilege of meeting Harlan Howard, who penned such great classics as Heartaches By The Number, Pick Me Up On Your Way Down, and Ray Charles' Busted, some years ago in Dublin.

It was in the residence of the then US Ambassador to Ireland, Jean Kennedy Smith, at a private party for a select few - how I was there is another story.

When I realised who the tall, elderly, distinguished gentleman was, and being a big fan, I engaged in conversation with him about America and music and politics. He was charming to say the least.

Towards the end of an enjoyable evening, I decided to turn the conversation on its head and ask him: "Of all the songs you didn't write, what one would you like to have written?"

He thought for a moment and then said: "Paul Simon's Bridge Over Troubled Water.''

One master's praise for another. As I say - just to put the record straight.




From Belfast Telegraph