Stephen Cochran
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Stephen Cochran

Band Country Singer/Songwriter


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"Stephen Cochran’s “Wal-Mart Flowers” Hits a High Note at Radio"

Nashville – Maybe it’s the momentum created by his critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album, or it could be the song’s undeniable and irresistible summertime hook, but “Wal-Mart Flowers,” the leadoff single from Aria/Quarterback recording artist Stephen Cochran’s upcoming sophomore release, is heating up quickly, creating a serious buzz on the charts and at radio. Since its April 13 release date, “Wal-Mart Flowers” has generated good chart action, moving this week from No. 53 to No. 49 on R&R’s Indicator Chart. With 19 stations adding the single to their tighter-than-ever playlists, the song is already becoming a familiar singalong anthem for country listeners nationwide.

In addition, Stephen has been hand selected as an “Artist to Watch” on Clear Channel’s NEW!, the broadcast behemoth’s online new music showcase. “Wal-Mart Flowers” will be promoted prominently on over 900 Clear Channel station websites.

“I knew I was listening to something very special the very first time I heard ‘Wal-Mart Flowers,’” Cochran says. “And now, with industry gatekeepers like R&R and Clear Channel embracing the new single, I know my instincts were right on the money.”

Between his constant touring activities and his ongoing work on behalf of his fellow veterans (Cochran is a decorated Marine veteran of campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan) the singer found time recently to travel to Hammond, Louisiana, a region where he has a particularly strong fanbase, to film the video for “Wal-Mart Flowers.” Performing the song over and over for a packed house of rabid fans at Hammond’s Chevy’s Night Club, Cochran was able to capture both the magic of the song and incredible energy of his acclaimed live show. The video is completed and is currently being submitted to both CMT and GAC.

For more information and up-to-the-minute tour dates, visit
- Quarterback Records

"Marine Corps Sgt Stephen Cochran"

Wounded Warrior Diaries:

A former Marine sergeant turned country-music artist is using his newfound fame to urge Americans to do more to support the men and women returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Having toured with major acts, including Toby Keith and Alabama frontman Randy Owen, and landing three of his own songs on the national country music charts, Stephen Cochran says eve More..rything he has planned for the next 10 years involves rising to the highest level of music he can, while working to improve the quality of life for severely wounded veterans and those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“I want to bring attention to that great 1 percent … it takes to stand up and defend a whole country,” he said. “One percent of our population does that, so why can’t the other 99 percent of it take care of them?” Cochran’s dedication to the livelihood of combat veterans stems from his own personal story of severe injury while serving in Afghanistan.

“Everything that I can do, I believe, I have to go through before I can know what my mission is – like being injured,” said the singer, who was told he’d never walk again in 2004. “I had to be injured to know that our men and women aren’t being taken care of properly.”

Called to Serve

As the son of a songwriter who grew up in America’s “music city” of Nashville, Tenn., Cochran had a country-music career in his sights all his life. He had a bedroom full of instruments as a child – given to him as presents instead of toys – and he made his first radio appearance with his father at age 3, singing the Alabama hit “Dixieland Delight.”

“I don’t think that there’s ever been an aspect of my life that hasn’t been surrounded by music,” he said, “or that I haven’t ever known that’s what I always wanted to do.”

However, shortly into his junior year at Western Kentucky University, everything changed for Cochran. He had just been named captain of Western Kentucky’s lacrosse team and was gearing up for the season when the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks happened. That night, while watching the television coverage in his fraternity house, he made the unexpected decision to join the military.

“Everything was normal, and then it was like a snow globe,” he recalled. “In one day, … I didn’t feel safe anywhere.”

Cochran enlisted in the Marine Corps a week and a half later, walking away from his college education, a promissory record deal, and his then-fiancée, who broke their engagement when he announced his decision.

Enlisting wasn’t a choice he had to make, Cochran said. “It was just something that I was called to do and was made to do,” he explained. “It was … just a strong voice inside me that [said] I had to do this.”

Patriotism always has been driven home hard in his family, Cochran added. His father, both grandfathers, and an uncle served in the military.

“They joined when they needed to, when our country needed them,” he said.

Beating the Odds

Cochran, 19 at the time, reported to boot camp on Feb. 2, 2002, and trained for nine and a half months with the Marine Corps before he was deployed to Kuwait with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion – part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force – to prepare for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Once the unit crossed the threshold into Iraq, it fought to Tikrit and back, completing 111 missions during a year-long deployment. Enemy contact was frequent, Cochran said, but the unit brought every man home.

“That was something we prided ourselves on,” he said. “We brought our whole family home.”

Confident after Iraq, the unit immediately volunteered to join the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit for a special operations push in Afghanistan. The unit deployed just four months after returning from Iraq. The decision to redeploy so soon was “something we would all regret later on,” Cochran said.

The unit arrived to find a much more hostile environment in Afghanistan, and firefights with the enemy were a daily occurrence. It was no longer a matter of if the unit would get ambushed, Cochran explained, it was when.

“We started losing guys,” he said.

The anticipated ambush happened July 14, 2004, eight months into his deployment. Cochran, serving as a reconnaissance scout, was on a routine security mission 20 miles inside Kandahar when his unit’s light armored vehicle struck an antitank mine. The explosion threw Cochran off the back of the vehicle 125 feet, breaking five vertebrae in his lower back.

The medics lost his pulse twice during resuscitation, declaring him dead both times.

Cochran has no memory of the incident. When shown photos from the scene, he said, he recognizes himself, but it doesn’t feel like he was actually in the picture.

“That’s just a real weird feeling that you really don’t know how to deal with,” he said.

Cochran woke up a month later in the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., and was told that he was paralyzed from the waist down and would most likely never walk again.

To make matters worse, the record label he had a promissory deal with dropped him, not wanting to invest in a paraplegic. The woman he had been engaged to cut all ties with him, and the Marine Corps retired him.

“It was a bad week; it was a bad week,” Cochran said. “Everything that I’d worked for in my past, present, [and] future was gone in one week.”

However, nine months into his recovery at Bethesda, another option arose.

Doctors at Vanderbilt Medical Center in his hometown of Nashville proposed trying a surgery called a kyphoplasty to mend the broken vertebrae in Cochran’s spine. Kyphoplasties usually are reserved for older patients suffering from degenerative discs. However it’s possible to use the procedure to restore feeling in the lower body for spinal-injury victims.

Cochran traveled to Vanderbilt for the surgery. Four days after an orthopedic surgeon applied almost 4 pounds of cement to fix the crushed vertebrae in his back, Cochran had the first feeling in his legs.

It was a tingling feeling, like feet falling asleep, Cochran recalled. “It was the best feeling in the world, because it was the first thing that I had felt in nine months,” he said.

Six months of intense physical therapy had him walking with a walker, and a year and a half later, he was in a recording studio working on his first album with only a brace to support his back.

Adapt and Overcome

Today, Cochran’s dream of becoming a professional country-music artist has come full circle. He signed a record deal with Aria Records and released his self-titled debut album in 2007.

“Two and a half years after they told me I’d never walk, I signed a record deal,” he said.

Between tour dates, Cochran has been back in the studio, recording and helping to produce his second album, which comes out later this year. The first single from the new album, “Wal-Mart Flowers,” will be released for play on country radio stations across the United States this month.

Cochran said he believes the second album really shows how he’s grown into being a country artist, compared to the first album, which was recorded and released quickly after his recovery.

“I feel like [the first album] was a Marine that sings country music,” he said, “and I feel like now, on the sophomore album, I’m getting to show a country artist that’s a Marine.”

Cochran’s back injury still causes him pain occasionally, but he said it doesn’t stop him from doing everything he did before the incident.

Perhaps of greater everyday impact is the loss of the tip of the ring finger on his left hand – the hand he uses to form chords on the neck of the guitar. For dealing with that obstacle, Cochran lightheartedly cited a Marine Corps saying, “Adapt and overcome.” He said it might take him a little longer to learn a new song now, but he’ll sit down with the guitar and try playing it different ways until it sounds right.

Changing Up the Attack

Around the same time Cochran signed with Aria Records, a Marine major he had served with called to tell him his options as a retired servicemember. When Cochran informed him that he’d just signed a record deal, his friend immediately changed the subject to his ideas for a group focused on bettering the livelihoods of servicemembers returning from combat, especially those suffering severe injuries and PTSD.

Together, they founded a nonprofit group called the Independence Fund. Their goal, Cochran explained, was to create an organization that covers servicemembers from the time they enlist or are commissioned to “the time that we put you in the ground.”

“I’m very proud of where we’ve taken [the fund],” Cochran said, “from just being two guys’ ideas, to now being a full-fledged foundation that’s doing a lot of great work.”

Last year, the Independence Fund gave away 19 robotic wheelchairs at $30,000 apiece to severely wounded veterans. The wheelchairs use Segway technology to raise users up to a 6-foot, 3 inch height and can climb stairs.

Cochran maintains that these wheelchairs are the equipment he’s seen for a paraplegic or quadriplegic.

“I remember one of the worst things when I was in a wheelchair was that I constantly had to look up to everybody,” he said. “I went from being this Marine sergeant to the next day that I couldn’t look anybody in the eye when I wanted to talk to them.”

The Independence Fund recently joined the Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes, which hosts a variety of programs to help wounded and disabled veterans live the fullest lives possible – such as reconstructing homes, providing financial aid and building support networks. Cochran sits on the board of this larger organization.

Cochran is focused on finding ways to improve support for servicemembers with PTSD, which he has suffered from himself. “The paranoia [is] the worst,” he said. “You think everybody is against you. That’s something we need to figure out before the greatest causalities of this war don’t come at the hands of our enemy, but the come at the hands of PTSD.”

Multiple deployments aren’t making the task any easier for today’s servicemembers, he noted. “Nothing has ever been asked of our fighting men and women like has been asked of this generation,” he said. “It’s five, six times they’re going overseas.”

In addition to his charity work, Cochran has returned to Kuwait to perform for servicemembers preparing for the fight in Iraq – men and women he said he sometimes feels more at home with than his own family. He also is still in touch with the Marines he served with in Afghanistan who made it back.

“I don’t believe that I was done fighting when I was taken out of the war,” Cochran said, again employing a Marine Corps principle to make his point. “I just had to ‘change up the way that I was attacking,’” he said. The way that I attack now is with going out here and trying to get as many benefits [and] organizations working for the men and women that are coming back home. Then, they know that they have one Marine in the United States that’s going to do everything every day that he can do to make sure that … his or her life is a better quality.

“I think that I can win every award in country music,” he continued, “and still one of the greatest things that I’ve ever accomplished in my life was being handed a new eagle, globe and anchor and being told ‘Welcome aboard, United States Marine.’” - Live Leak

"Stephen Cochran Celebrates an Advertising Award and Readies His Upcoming Single, “Walmart Flowers”."

With New Single on the Horizon, Aria/Quarterback Recording Artist’s
Innovative Marketing Garners an “Addy” Award

Nashville – Between his recent tour of the Middle East, scores of benefit
appearances on behalf of his fellow veterans, and constant roadwork in
support of his acclaimed, self-titled debut album, Stephen Cochran has a lot
on his plate these days. And while he has built his loyal fan base one gig
at a time, some innovative and very cool marketing strategies have helped
with the steady growth of the singer/songwriter’s career.

One such strategy, created by Nashville’s GrassRoots Marketing, recently
took home a Silver Addy award from the American Advertising Federation. The
award, presented to GrassRoots Marketing at ceremonies held recently in
Nashville, recognized the popular online game the company created in
conjunction with Cochran’s single, “Thinkin’ I’m Drinkin’.” The game gives
fans the chance to upload their photo, which is inserted into a virtual
barroom standing next to Cochran. Skilled players watch their faces change
the more they “consume,” as the rowdy “Thinkin’ I’m Drinkin’” plays in the
background. With over 60,000 entries annually, the Addy Awards are one of
the world’s largest and toughest advertising competitions.

Even as he celebrates this latest award, Cochran has found the time to head
into the studio and begin work on his highly anticipated sophomore release.
In fact, the album’s debut single, “Wal-Mart Flowers,” is already completed
and is scheduled to ship to radio stations on April 13.

“‘Wal-Mart Flowers’ is one of those special songs that only comes along once
in a while,” Cochran says. “The first time I heard it, I knew I had to
record it and I knew I had to do it my way. That’s why I ended up
co-producing the record with my longtime producer, Jim Allison. I’ve never
been as excited about a song as I am about ‘Wal- Mart Flowers.’” - Quarterback Records


Stephen Cochran LP
1 Friday Night Fireside
2 Four Chords and Seven Beers Ago
3 We're Alright
4 One Good Country Song
5 Let It Rain
6 Two Shades of Lipstick
7 Leave My Country Alone
8 Everything We Knew
9 Thinkin' I'm Drinkin'
10 Love Her Like a River
11 Old School
12 Angel Choir
13 When A Hero Falls

Walmart Flowers (single from sophmore album still in production)

Radio Play on Billboard / Mediabase:
Friday Night Fireside
Everything We Knew
Thinkin I'm Drinkin
Walmart Flowers



By watching Stephen Cochran on stage, you would never know that just 5 years ago he was hit by an I.E.D. Blast in Afghanastan and was told he'd never walk again. What you WOULD be able to figure out is that he comes from a Music Row pedigree, a soldier’s sense of purpose and a lifetime’s worth of stories. Stephen exploded onto the country music scene in 2007 with a critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album that captured the hearts of fans, critics and a lot of everyday heroes. Born in Pikeville, Kentucky and raised in the creative heart of Nashville’s songwriting and recording community, Cochran watched his Dad, known as Steve Cochran, wrestle with the machinery of Music Row as a struggling songwriter and artist back in the '70s. Country greats Bobby Bare and the late Del Reeves are just a couple of the characters that drifted in and out of the Cochran home. “That was my school, coming home and watching Dad practice and play and write,” he says. “With Dad doing his music hustle, I was raised in the business and I learned the ins and outs. I love music, and that’s what he instilled in me.” Cochran’s life on his way to his own country music career is about as real as it gets. Following the tragic events of 9/11, with his career just getting off the ground, Cochran did an about face, joining the Marines’ elite reconnaissance division and headed straight to Iraq. He returned safely, but wasn’t so lucky on his next overseas tour – to Afghanistan. After losing a good friend to enemy fire, Cochran returned home with a broken back and a newfound determination to make his country music dream come true. He used his recovery time well, digging deep to reignite his passion for songwriting. “I love the Marine Corps,” Cochran says. “Everything they did for me structured my life and gave me the drive to know that I can do anything I want to do.” In a town where an artist’s “story” is routinely embellished by teams of publicists, Cochran’s background is as refreshingly real as his music. His debut garnered critical raves and respectable airplay, but it only hinted at the power and the depth of Cochran's upcoming sophomore effort. With it's infectious summertime chorus and making-the-best-of-the-bad-times message, leadoff single "Wal-Mart Flowers" is generating fan excitement and lighting up radio request lines since its official April 13 release. At every step along the way, even as he's built one of country music most promising careers and lived the non-stop touring life of a new artist, at every turn Cochran has taken time and leveraged his newfound celebrity status to benefit his fellow veterans. One example is his work with the Coalition to Salute Heroes, an organization that provides tools and therapy to returning veterans. Cochran has played countless benefit shows that have help raise funds for severely wounded veterans. Through his efforts, Cochran has helped transform lives and raise funds through his music. “The way I was raised was to be thankful to this country for being able to do our dream, and my dream is music,” Cochran says. “These soldiers and their families have sacrificed so much for this great country, and it's an honor and a privelege to do whatever I can whenever I can to salute them and to help them." Between road gigs, Cochran has been in the studio co-producing his upcoming sophomore album with longtime producer Jim Allison. Having recently filmed the video for "Wal-Mart Flowers" in front of a rowdy, packed house full of fans at Chevy's Niteclub in Hammond, Louisiana, Cochran is anxious to get his new songs out there and take on the world, one honky tonk at a time. "My goal all along has been was to build that bridge – between the newer country listeners who want to rock a little and those who love the heritage of country,” Cochran says. “I really believe God puts everyone here on earth to do something, and I know I was bred to do this music.”