The Story Behind The Song: “Don’t Touch Me” – Jeannie Seely

Jeannie Seely
Jeannie Seely

By 1966, one of Nashville’s top composers was still trying to make a splash as a singer and recording artist, but Hank Cochran had managed to place only three releases in the Top-30 over the past four years. He was giving it everything he had, working a lot of shows, although in the end Hank’s legacy would be the songs he wrote for other artists. Nonetheless, Cochran found himself performing a week-long gig at a club in Minnesota in 1966 where he started composing a new song called “Don’t Touch Me.” Between shows, Hank continued to work on the number, but he just couldn’t seem to get to a point where he was satisfied with it. When the week at the club was over, Cochran hopped a plane and headed for Rochester, New York.

Hank was dating a twenty-five year old singer named Jeannie Seely, who was performing in Porter Wagoner’s touring show just after Norma Jean’s departure from the Wagoner entourage (Dolly Parton was eventually hired as Norma Jean’s permanent replacement). Wagoner, Seely and the band were in Rochester for a performance and Cochran flew there simply to spend some time with Jeannie during his schedule break. Seely had already obtained a recording contract with Fred Foster’s Monument Records and was looking for a good song to use as her first single.

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