Johnson could think of no better reason to bring them back.
“There’s not a writer I think any more deserving than Hank Cochran to have an album done in the way that we did this one,” Johnson said. “And the icing on the cake was the artists that stepped up and not only agreed to do it, but we were getting death threats from artists if we didn’t put them on this album, you know? There would be hell to pay and we wasn’t gonna have that.”
Johnson cut two tracks with good friend Nelson, who got his first paying job in Nashville thanks to Cochran, and other iconic singers like Merle Haggard, Ray Price, Bobby Bare and Kris Kristofferson. But he said the most powerful experiences for him were the songs he sang with Krauss, Emmylou Harris and Lee Ann Womack — “humbled is the word that comes to mind,” he said.
Krauss joined him on “The Late Show With David Letterman” last week to sing “Make the World Go Away,” taking his tribute to the masses. He wants to spread the gospel to as many as he can.
“Oh, Hank was a lot of trouble, a lot of fun, a lot of everything,” Johnson said. “I’m very grateful to have gotten to know him. There won’t be another one. God only makes one of those.”