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Shoulda Been a Hit: Tammy Cochran’s “What Kind of Woman Would I Be”

(Image from TammyCochranFans.com)

I have been writing this column for months now at WBKR.com and I believe that THIS is a first.  Typically, when I discuss a song that shoulda been a hit, it at least came close.  All my selections to date have charted on the Billboard Country Chart.  They just haven’t charted high enough to be considered a hit.  This week’s song didn’t chart AT ALL!  And, the fact that “What Kind of Woman Would I Be” was a big chart miss for Tammy Cochran, I think it ultimately contributed to her relative disappearance from the country conversation.  In my opinion, it SHOULD have had the opposite effect.

You guys remember Tammy Cochran, right?  In 2001, she landed in the Top Ten with “Angels in Waiting” from her debut CD, Tammy Cochran.

Because of the success of that song and its moderately successful follow-up, “I Cry” (which peaked at #18), Epic Records agreed to let her record her sophomore release, Life Happened.

And, then . . . as if on cue . . . life happened.  The label released the ballad “Life Happened” as the CD’s first single.  And, while it performed fairly well, it only peaked at #20, despite the fact that it was a pretty popular hit locally.  Folks in this area likely remember “Life Happened” for its references to Eastland Mall and Windy Hollow Road.  If you don’t remember, here’s the video.  It’s pretty cool to hear places you’re familiar with pop up in the lyrics of a song . . .

“Life Happened” was the first release from Tammy’s CD and Epic Records was getting disgruntled.  They truly expected a hit and didn’t get one.  The follow-up, “Love Won’t Let Me,” was even more of a disappointment.  It topped out at #31.  And that, for Epic, was the final straw.  They dropped Tammy from the label right around the time the rousing “What Kind of Woman Would I Be” was making its way to radio.

And this, in my opinion, is where Epic Records made and “epic” fail.  Sure!  Tammy Cochran’s biggest hit to date was the gut-wrenching and personal “Angels in Waiting” and her husky, smoky and emotive voice was most definitely suited to ballads.  And, yes, country music fans love songs that tug at the heart.  However, they also like music that makes you want pop a top, ride in the back of a truck, hoot and holler, tell it like it is and do some soul searchin’.  For Tammy Cochran, “What Kind of Woman Would I Be” was THAT song.  The kinda female “soul searchin’ song that just about every country-music loving gal can relate to.  As she wonders what her life is gonna be like without her man, Tammy Cochran sings in the chorus . . .

If I forgot about us and just for once thought about me

What kind of woman would I be

Out on my own, would I make a fresh start?

Find somebody new or would I fall apart?

Some women move on, exceed their dreams

While others spend their lives lonely

If tonight I were to pack my bags and leave

What kind of woman would I be?

“What Kind of Woman Would I Be” is a GREAT song.  And I really do believe that if her label had released this FIRST instead of THIRD, Cochran’s fortunes could have been reversed.  But, as is stands in history, this was the 3rd release from Life Happened.  And, with no label support behind it, there was never a video made for the song.  And it’s a shame.  Because this song woulda, coulda, and SHOULDA been a hit.  But, as they say, life happened.

Tune into The BKR’s Dozen Saturday morning at 8am to hear “What Kind of Woman Would I Be” by Tammy Cochran.

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