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Wayne Cochran Biography

Wayne Cochran

Blue-eyed soul singer Wayne Cochran was born in 1939 in Thomaston, Georgia. Wayne started his first band in 1955 and was kicked out of high school for refusing to cut his flamboyant pompadour hairstyle. Cochran recorded his debut single "My Little Girl" for the Scottie label in 1959. Wayne went on to record a slew of singles throughout the 60's for such labels as Gala ("Funny Feeling," "Liza Jane"), Confederate ("Linda Lu"), Aire ("Cindy Marie"), King ("Little Orphan Annie"), and Mercury ("Goin' Back to Miami," which rates as one of his single most incendiary R&B songs and was later covered by the Blues Brothers). In the early 60's Wayne wrote and recorded the morbid teen death item "Last Kiss," which later became a huge #2 Billboard pop chart hit for J.
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Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers in 1964. In 1963 Cochran formed his own group called the C.C. Riders ("Cochran's Circuit Riders"). The band amassed an enormous following in the South and Midwest by extensively touring and performing at various clubs, lounges and seedy dives all over the region. Cochran was famous for his massive white pompadour, outrageous outfits, and full-throttle raw-throated hoarse'n'ragged vocals. Wayne and the C.C. Riders were the immensely popular house band at the Miami, Florida club the Barn. Jackie Gleason in particular was a big fan of Cochran's music and wrote the liner notes for his 1967 debut album. Cochran and the C.C. Riders appear as themselves in the biker exploitation flick "C.C. and Company." Moreover, Wayne not only made guest appearances on such TV programs as "The Johnny Carson Show," "The Merv Griffin Show," "The Dinah Shore Show," "The Jackie Gleason Show," "Late Night With David Letterman," "The Tomorrow Show," and "The Mike Douglas Show," but also had straight acting roles on episodes of the TV series "The Wild, Wild West" and "The Duke." Cochran eventually became a born-again Christian and started his own ministry in 1981. Wayne and the C.C. Riders performed at two reunion shows in 2001: they did a gig on July 26 in Miami, Florida and did a second reunion show on August 1 in Hollywood, Florida. Wayne Cochran now lives in Miami, Florida with his wife Monica.