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Poignant letter is filled with words of encouragement for her 22-year-old self

Hank Cochran: Country songwriter best known for Patsy Cline's hit 'I Fall to Pieces'

With over 500 recorded songs, Hank Cochran was a prolific and successful country-music writer. He rarely strayed from country music but "I Fall to Pieces" and "Make the World Go Away" became standards known the world over. He had considerable integrity and he would say, "I would rather have a friend than a hit."

Bobby Hebb: Singer-songwriter whose hit single 'Sunny' became one of the most-covered songs of all time

Since its release in 1966, millions have enjoyed Bobby Hebb's soulful composition "Sunny", and the hundreds of cover versions by the likes of Cher, Georgie Fame, José Feliciano, Ella Fitzgerald, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye, Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield and Stevie Wonder, as well as more unlikely renditions by Boney M, Robert Mitchum and Leonard Nimoy. In 1990, BMI, the US performing-rights organisation of composers, listed "Sunny" as the 18th most-performed song from its catalogue, and it remains in the Top 25 two decades on.

Nashville: My new spiritual home

Last time I went to Nashville it was in the 1980s and I couldn’t see any way past the Randy Travis tea towels and the Dollywood-ification of the place.

Caught in the Net - New Yorkers set for a dreamy debut

In 2008, I wrote in this column about Violens. The New York four-piece had put out a fine EP of droning guitars, psychedelic sounds and dreamy harmonies, but I subsequently lost track of them.

Woman killed by lightning strike as fiancé proposes

Richard Butler wanted his girlfriend to think they were just taking a scenic hike in the North Carolina mountains, but he had a secret plan. When they got to the top, he was going to pull out a ring and ask her to be his bride. Then lightning struck – three times.

Lightning kills US woman before fiance proposed

Richard Butler wanted his girlfriend to think they were just taking a scenic hike in the North Carolina mountains, but he had a secret plan. When they got to the top, he planned to pull out a ring and ask her to be his bride.

28 killed in US storms

Rescuers using boats and jet-skis plucked stranded residents from their flooded homes today as the death toll from weekend storms in the US rose to 28 in three states.

Russia places freeze on adoptions by Americans

Moscow demands bilateral foster agreement after boy 'returned' by US mother

Adopted boy 'threatened to burn family's house down'

Russia is furious at orphan's return, alone on a plane, but his US 'grandmother' talks of a reign of terror

To Russia without love

Diplomatic incident as American woman who adopted orphaned boy sends him home alone to Moscow

Album: Harper Simon, Harper Simon (Tulsi Records)

For all its alluring qualities, there's something slightly discomfiting about this debut offering from Paul Simon's son, Harper.

Rupert Cornwell: Farewell to Davy Crockett – and the wild frontier

Out of America: When Fess Parker died in California last week, part of an innocent, earlier era passed with him

Album: The Features, Some Kind of Salvation (Serpents & Snakes)

Should you give the Features a chance because they are Kings of Leon's favourite band, as well as the first act signed to their fledgling label?

Carl Smith: Country singer who made the charts every year from 1951 to 1973

One of the most successful country stars of the 1950s, Carl Smith enjoyed a string of hits, including "If Teardrops Were Pennies", "Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way", "Are You Teasing Me", "Loose Talk" and "Deep Water", that saw him appearing in the country charts every year from 1951 to 1973.

William Eggleston 21st Century, Victoria Miro Gallery, London

Another kind of American beauty
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Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn