Tammy Cochran is well known for her sentimental and heart touching songs such as “Angels in Waiting” which pulled on emotional heartstrings and now she has added another gem to her collection on her current music project called “30 Something And Single”. As an adoptive mother, Tammy has put together the words and music entwined with the emotions she found in her heart and soul as she went through the adoptive process. The end result is “Half the World Away (Shawn’s Song) a touching ballad about her new child.
Recently I visited with Tammy about the music, adoption and being on your own; both musically and as a single mom.
Bev: I am very excited to talk to you because I am also an adoptive mother of a four year old. It is exciting and very heart wrenching at times. During the adoptive process you never know what is going on.
Tammy: What is funny is I never realized how many people have been touched by adoption. Those who have adopted and those that have been adopted come up to you and tell you things and it is awesome.
Bev: I have experienced that when you tell someone that you have adopted a child, they seem to think you are a hero. I don’t look at myself that way and I would do it a hundred times over.
Tammy: I just wanted a family, I am not a hero.
Bev: Let’s talk about your new album “30 Something And Single”. This is your fourth album and second independent project; let’s talk the challenges and differences of being on a major label vs being on an independent. What do you like or dislike and what scares or doesn’t scare you?
Tammy: The huge difference is the financial backing with an independent versus a major label. Major labels have millions and millions of dollars to be able to do what you want to do. As an independent, you have to pick and choose what is the smartest thing to do with a fountain that does run dry. But I love the fact that there is more independence as far as being an artist and choosing what songs go on the album and choosing how you represent yourself as opposed to how someone else wants to represent you.
Bev: You have put “Angels in Waiting” back on this new album. What made you decide to do that?
Tammy: That song was on the first Sony album and I still receive emails from people wanting to buy that song. It wasn’t for sale anymore except for digital download and people wanted a hard copy of the album. My only choice, since it was out of print was to go ahead and re-record it. I still do a lot of Cystic Fibrosis benefits throughout the year; they always want that song available for their events and to auction off. It just seemed the smart thing to do. We did the new song with different instrumentation, we open with twin fiddles instead of Dobro, a little bit different but close to the original version.
Bev: The song you wrote for your son, you actually wrote it before you finalized the adoption process. Once you actually did have him, and you had the song, did the song make as much sense to you and did the song live up to being everything you thought the end result of the adoption should be?
Tammy: Oh definitely. Actually, when I started this adoption process in 2005, I was actually adopting a little girl from Guatemala. My facilitator got into some legal problems and ended up getting arrested for some illegal activities that she did. Because of the illegal activities that she did, it affected everyone’s adoptions that she was associated with. My adoption with that little girl ended but I believe everything happens for a reason. That little girl and Shawn were born a year and three days apart and it was like I was supposed to be there waiting for him to come along. When I wrote that song, I was in the process of adopting Shawn and all the legal things going on and the emotional roller coaster. One day I was told “we are so close to family court and bringing your baby home” and the next day they would say you are not even close to family court. It was like the worst soap opera you ever saw on TV. When I sat down to write the song, I started pouring everything into it. Shawn and I sing this song together; he is always saying “sing me my song”. It is everything. I am sad I had to go through the bad things but the outcome of having my son outweighs everything.
Bev: I can’t even imagine what you went through. Mine was so simple compared to yours but I went through every emotion possible thinking what if they back out. I knew the mother and I went through the whole pregnancy with her but still carried the fear of her backing out. During the whole adoption process, there are so many things that are nerve racking. I also have three children I gave birth too; which there are emotions that go along with natural childbirth too, but your story is so touching.
Tammy: It was definitely worth it. The song pays tribute to the birth mom, she pays the price. To give up a child is something I can’t imagine doing. I wanted to honor her in this song for the gift she has given.
Bev: Do you have any contact with the birth mom?
Tammy: I don’t have any contact with the birth mom. I have a picture of the birth Mom with my son and I have her name. So when he gets older, if he wants to track her down, that is up to him. He is definitely going back to Guatemala when he is about 15 years old and starts talking about those $300 pair of jeans.
Bev: Let’s switch gears and talk about the promotional aspect of the new CD. What avenues are you using to get the word out on the new project?
Tammy: The first single is “He Really Thinks He’s Got It”. We are getting ready to release it but I don’t know when yet. We are getting all our ducks in a row as far as radio. Again, being independent, it takes longer to do anything you want to do because you don’t a staff of a hundred people to help you, so we are working on it. I am trying to create awareness about the adoption song. I believe November was National Adoption Awareness Month so we did some press about that. I am still doing the Cystic Fibrosis fund raisers. I am out performing a lot; I do three months out of the year at the Alabama Theater in Myrtle Beach. As far as work goes, I definitely keep busy. It gets a little hard trying to do every aspect of the business instead of just going out there and singing.
Bev: Are you utilizing all the new internet media like Myspace, Twitter and Facebook?
Tammy: I am on Myspace and Facebook. I am on Twitter but I just started there and I have to tell you, I just don’t have enough time for all these social networks. I am also on Digital Rodeo. I know that so many of my friends are on these great networks and I can’t say enough good things about them, but just being one person, it is hard to maintain all of them.
Bev: What are you doing for fun when you are not working?
Tammy: I don’t really have a lot of time for “fun” fun. We go to the park and we go shopping and all that fun stuff, but as far as hobbies, my hobby is my son right now. I don’t have a fun social life right now. Everyone told me my life was going to change and I just rolled my eyes and said “yeah, yeah” but it does change.
Bev: With the economy as it is, are you trying to think outside the box? Have you come up with something that is not the “norm” for promotions to get your music out there?
Tammy: That is what we are working on now. We have some really great ideas that we don’t think have been done before, but it is time consuming. Things a major label would have done in two weeks, takes a team of three people months to get lined up. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is different enough to get noticed.
Bev: Do you have a personal a favorite on this CD?
Tammy: That is hard, they are all my “babies” and they are all my favorites for different reasons. Of course, Shawn’s song is one of my absolute favorites for obvious reasons. “He Really Thinks He’s Got It” is one of the top choices as well, because it shows my humorous side. Most people, when they think about my music, think about my serious songs like “Angels In Waiting”. They have never really seen me do my little sarcastic humor so I am really excited to be able to share that. Even though all the songs are country, some are more country than others, I like the variety. I get to sing different styles but still in the country genre.
Bev: You brought back Tammy Wynette’s song “Stand By Your Man”. What made you decide to put that one out this time around?
Tammy: You know Tammy Wynette is one of my all time favorites. I love the classic country sound and I love strong women of country music. She seems like the epitome of a strong woman. I do a couple of Tammy Wynette songs in my live show and I receive such a great reaction from the audience. It is one of my favorite songs so I wanted to be a little different and put one of those songs on the CD mixed in with the ones I have co-written.
Bev: Where can your new CD be purchased right now?
Tammy: On my website, www.tammycochranfans.com. Right now the CD “30 Something and Single” is only available online at the website and through CDbaby.com. We are working on distribution but that is going to take a little time.
Bev: It has been great visiting with you and look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for taking time out of your crazy schedule to talk with me about your life, your son and of course the music.
Tammy: My pleasure and I appreciate all you do. We need to get together soon and let the boys play, it would be fun to visit more about the adoptions and share the special moments it has given us.
For more information on Tammy Cochran visit www.tammycochranfans.com