Anita Cochran Brings On 'Good Times'

Country singer, guitarist back with new album, single and role in 'Dukes of Hazzard' remake.

NASHVILLE — Hotshot guitar slinger Anita Cochran is aiming to get herself back into the forefront of country artists, and the new single "Good Times" is one giant step in that direction.

Cochran had a #1 country hit in 1997 with her duet with Steve Wariner on "What If I Said." After that, her momentum slowed and some ill-chosen singles hampered her.

"People ask me why it's taken so long for the next record," Cochran said. "You put out your first album, and then all of a sudden you have all these other obligations, and you still need to find time to write.

"Plus Jim Ed [Jim Ed Norman, Warner/Reprise Nashville president and her co-producer] has to run the labels and so scheduling's difficult. That's one reason it took so long," she added.

Now, with her self-titled second album released April 18 on Warner Bros., Cochran is looking to two unlikely allies in furthering her country career: a TV movie and TV commercials.

"We got a call from the writers of the original 'Dukes of Hazzard' TV show," she said. "They were looking for a country female artist to come in and play the part of a country female artist on the remake of the show. They wanted someone to play a country singer and songwriter trying to make it. So, I said yeah.

"I watched the 'Dukes of Hazzard' all the time when I was a kid. It's strange now to be a part of the show. It was really fun, and they're gonna use two songs off the last album and two songs off the new album on the show."

Her new song, "Good Times" (RealAudio excerpt), which also is the album's first single release to country radio, will be the show's theme song and will be featured in a series of TV commercials for General Motors — appropriate, because Cochran is a Michigan native. GM also will sponsor her summer tour.

The new "Dukes of Hazzard" TV movie, which also includes country singer Toby Keith, airs May 19 on CBS-TV.

Cochran has led the way for women musicians in Nashville — she's fluent on seven instruments and was honored by Gibson Guitars as Woman Guitar Player of the Year in 1998 — as well as for women producing country records.

"I've just always been involved with producing, from when I was a young kid," she said. "I used to take my cassette players, and I'd play guitars and put vocals on one cassette and then play that and on another machine sing background vocals and play bass guitar. So I started multitracking really young. When I was a teenager, my parents bought me a four-track machine, and I thought, oh my goodness, it can't get any better than this. Now I have 64, and I need more!"