Country music singer-songwriter and record producer, Anita Renee Cockerham, professionally known as Anita Cochran, is celebrating her 52nd birthday today.
Her country music exposure began in her family where she also learned to play guitar, mandolin, dobro, and banjo. Anita would also tag along with her dad, who was a local performer, in music festivals. Other than her family, among those she quoted as her musical influences were Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Steve Wariner, and Ricky Skaggs.
Anita Cochran’s singing career officially began with her debut album, Back to You released in 1997 under Warner Bros. Records. Cochran’s songs showcased her songwriting prowess on top of her strong and versatile vocals.
Four singles from the album charted. “I Could Love a Man Like That” was at no. 64 while “Daddy, Can You See Me” and “Will You Be Here?” were at no. 69. Only one single managed to be on top 10, Anita Cochran’s duet with Steve Wariner in “What If I Said.” The track peaked at no. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles & Track of 1998.
Besides her work as a music producer, Anita Cochran released two more albums titled “Anita” in October 1999 and “Serenity” in November of the same year.
Her latest work, “Fight Like A Girl” won “Best Music Video” from “The Creation International Film Festival.”
What If I Said
Country music singer Steve Wariner has always been Anita Cochran’s music idol since when she was 18. They did a duet in “What If I Said,” one of Anita’s songs for her debut album, Back to You. The single was a big break for both Wariner and Cochran. It was Cochran’s first on chart and Wariner’s ninth when counted for “guest singles.” “What If I Said” topped the Hot Country Singles chart and Canada Country Tracks in 1997 and was no. 59 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs.
Cochran and Wariner’s record-breaking duet also won a CMA award for Vocal Duet of the Year in 1998. Wariner also included “What If I Said” in his 1998 album, “Burnin’ the Roadhouse Down.”
The Cheating Song with Conway Twitty
Anita Cochran paired with the late Country legend, Conway Twitty for the song, “(I Wanna Hear) A Cheatin’ Song.” She enlisted the help of co-producer, Jim Ed Norman who happened to be the head of Warner Bros. for Country when Twitty was signed up for the label from 1982-1987.
After obtaining permission from co-producer and Conway Twitty’s wife, Dee Jenkins, Norman spliced some lines sang by Twitty from his master recordings. The result was more than satisfying to Dee Jenkins when she heard her husband’s duet .with Cochran. She said that it’s the type of song that Conway Twitty would have recorded had he lived longer. The late legend passed away in June 1993.
You can find “(I Wanna Hear) A Cheatin’ Song” in Anita Cochran’s 2004 album, “God Created Woman.” The track reached no. 57 on the US Country chart.
Fight Like a Girl: Her Battle with Cancer
In the fall of 2018, Anita Cochran was diagnosed with breast cancer. This forced her to take some time off for treatment. Her friends and fellow country singers of the ’90s decided to host a benefit concert to help with her medical bills. Among those who participated were Pam Tillis, Bryan White, Lorrie Morgan, Crystal Gayle, Clay Walker, Jamie O’Neal, Ty Herndon, and Wade Hayes. Steve Wariner, Suzy Bogguss, The Lynns, and Wynona Judd were also present. Not only did these stars sang their pieces, but they also provided words of support and encouragement to Cochran.
“It’s hard to accept, but I’ve never felt so much love in my entire life. You’ll never know what it means to me.”
In October 2018, Anita Cochran released “Fight Like a Girl” meant to empower and strengthen fellow cancer survivors. Cochran, however, said that the song could resonate with a wider audience who also had their share of troubles, thus, she did not include the word “cancer” in her song. Just in time for the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and two weeks from her last chemo, Cochran performed “Fight Like A Girl” live in ABC’s Good Morning America.
“I wanted it to be about any kind of fight that a woman goes through.
Cochran documented her healing and lessons learned on her blog, “Journey to Healing.”
“Maybe my journey can help people. I feel like that’s my purpose now.”