DON COCHRANE (2005 Inductees)

Born in Kingston, Ontario, Don’s first musical influences were Hank Snow, Webb Pierce and Eddy Arnold and, later, Marty Robbins, Jim Reeves and Ray Price. At age 10, he received his first "real" guitar, a Stella, which he subsequently traded for a Gibson and then a Martin D-18. As a young boy and a teen, he performed at grade school concerts, high school special events and family gatherings. The first organized band of which he was a member was The Fred Paquin Orchestra, in which he sang and played rhythm guitar.

Don met the man who was to become his songwriting partner, Doug Ballard, in the mid-60's, and their collaboration produced, among several others, "Whistle on the River" and "Hey Uncle Tom", both of which were recorded by the Mercey Brothers in 1966.

Upon graduation from Kemptville Agricultural College, Don formed a country trio, "The Gamblers", whose musical influences were Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. In 1971, while working at Kemptville Agricultural College, Don joined Ralph Carlson & Country Mile as bass player. His first album, recorded at Snocan Studios, included "Whistle on the River", "Hey Uncle Tom", "Old Bill Jones", "Manitoba" and "The Hobo’s Lullaby", produced by Barry Brown. Returning to his hometown of Kingston, Don formed his own band, "Sweet Clover". In 1978, he recorded his second album, "Sweet Clover", which was produced by Dallas Harms. Don traveled extensively across Canada until 1983 and appeared on CBC specials, including The Tommy Hunter Show.

Don began a new career in real estate in 1983 and still performs regularly at summer festivals and concerts across Ontario. Don and his wife, Pat, who recently celebrated their 36th anniversary, have three children, Andrea, Adam and Elizabeth, and two grandchildren.


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