Grab your map...I mean, G-P-S...Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane says: "Life Is A Highway."

Road trip!

While he is well known...a "national treasure" his native Canada, Tom Cochrane is best known stateside for one of "Jersey's Favorite Hits"...

"Life Is A Highway" ON New Jersey 101.5! (Craig Allen photo).

...but that is 'down the road a piece!'

Before the "Fun Facts," let's meet Tom!

Thomas William Cochrane was born in Lynn Lake, Manitoba, Canada, on May 14, 1953.

His father, Tuck Cochrane, was a bush pilot.

At the age of 11, Tom sold his toy train set...and bought his first guitar!

By the early 1970's, Tom Cochrane was performing in coffee houses all across Canada.

Next, he was on the road to Los Angeles, where Cochrane took a job writing original songs for the movies...but unable to find steady money in music...he headed to Toronto, where he drove a taxi. He also found work on cruise ships...hoping to return to music.

After meeting at the "El Mocambo Tavern," in 1978, Tom Cochrane joined "Red Rider." He would be the lead singer, and main song writer, for this Canadian rock band for more than 10 years.

By 1986, they were "Tom Cochrane & Red Rider."

"Lunatic Fringe" is a bonus tack on the CD version of the Neruda album. (Craig Allen photo).

They would record 6 studio albums, a live album...

My "Red Rider" vinyl from the record closet at a previous radio station...on "display" in the NJ101.5 studio today! (Craig Allen photo). there would be Red Rider compilation CDs, and a box set.

"Lunatic Fringe" is Red Rider's best-known song...and a personal fave! Very different from "Life Is A Highway."

Fun Facts...

Tom Cochrane would launch his solo career in 1991, with "Life Is A Highway" (#6/1992).

"Life..." would be his only Top-10 hit in New Jersey.

The "Mad, Mad World" album (seen at the top of the story) would sell 6 million copies! One of them is mine...

Would you believe, this hit was inspired by Cochrane's trip to West Africa?

He was there on a fact-finding mission on behalf of the "World Vision" Famine Relief program....Cochrane admitting that the trip was "mind bending and soul sapping." 

He explains: "I was mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, and I really needed something to bring me out of this funk."

So, he jotted down a few ideas, and went into the recording studio.

And, he made quick work of it, recording "Life Is A Highway"..."in an hour, at seven in the morning."

Tom Cochrane says his biggest solo hit is rather ironic, as it's "the most positive song" I've "ever written, coming out of a pretty heavy experience."

He adds: "I needed a pep talk, and it became that for me and for millions of others."

Since its release in 1992, "Life Is A Highway" has been playing on radios far and wide...and its been heard in commercials (although those are "re-sings" by other artists).

Aside from speaking out on behalf of several causes, in his personal life,Tom Cochrane is an avid golfer, and hockey fan.

He and wife Kathleen have 2 daughters, Cody and Evanne. They live in Oakville, Ontario. In the winter, Cochrane spends time at his home outside of Austin, Texas.

Tom Cochrane has earned many awards over the years, both for his music and charity work...

He has won 8 "Juno" awards, is a member of the "Canadian Music Hall Of Fame," and officer of the "Order Of Canada," is an honorary Colonel in the "Royal Canadian Air Force," has an honorary doctorate from Brandon University, and is a 2009 inductee onto the "Canadian Walk Of Fame," among other recognition.

Two years ago, Cochrane celebrated the 25th anniversary of the "Mad Mad World Album," with release of a special edition of the album..including a demo recording of "Love Is A Highway," the working title of the hit we all know and LOVE!

He continues to tour, packing in the crowds, across Canada.

Add to Cochrane's list of honors: a stretch of Highway 391 near his hometown of Lynn Lake (Manitoba) is now known as "Tom Cochrane's Life Of A Highway."

Cool, right?!

To see what else Tom Cochrane is up to, check out his official website by clicking here!

Want one more "Fun Fact?"

"Life Is A Highway" rolls on...with others...behind the wheel!

Country artists "Rascall Flatts" recorded a "kid-friendly" version of the song in 2006, for the movie "Cars." Their take on the song "cruised" to #7 on the pop charts!

Life is a highway...put the peddle to the metal, with New Jersey 101.5!