Hank Cochran, the country music songwriter revered for the poetic economy and power of such enduring hits as Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” and Eddy Arnold’s “Make the World Go Away,” died Thursday at his home in Hendersonville, Tenn., after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 74.

Cochran was joined Wednesday night by musicians Jamey Johnson and Billy Ray Cyrus and fellow songwriter Buddy Cannon, who sang songs with him at his bedside.

In a career spanning more than half a century, Cochran wrote or co-wrote hundreds of songs recorded by Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley, Ray Price, George Strait and numerous others.

“He was a great friend, and a great mentor, and he was responsible for some of the music that inspired me to do what I do,” Haggard, himself one of country’s most prolific songwriters, said through a spokeswoman.

Cochran’s name also can be found on the credits for Cline’s “She’s Got You,” Strait’s “The Chair” and “Ocean Front Property” and Ronnie Milsap’s “Don’t You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me,” the latter being the one he usually cited as his favorite of his own songs.

“People study songs and go over them and all that,” Cochran once said, “and they tell me that’s one of the most well-written songs, but that has nothing to do with why it’s my favorite. It’s my favorite because it can still cut me up just like the day I wrote it.”

Several artists who were pitched Cochran’s songs turned them down until Cline recorded “I Fall to Pieces,” which came out in 1961. The song, which Cochran wrote with Harlan Howard, another fabled name in country songwriting circles, became a No. 1 hit that stayed on Billboard’s country singles chart for 39 weeks. Cochran’s first royalty check stunned him: $11,000.