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Wayne Cochran Dead at 78

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by , 12-07-2017 at 08:45 AM (201 Views)
Wayne Cochran, the influential singer dubbed "The White Knight of Soul" and writer of songs like "Last Kiss" and "Goin' Back to Miami," died November 21st in Miramar, Florida. He was 78.

Cochran's son Christopher confirmed to the Miami Herald that the soul singer died following a battle with cancer. Cochran had resided in Florida since the mid-Eighties, when he left the music industry to become an evangelical minister in Miami.
"He was all about family," Christopher Cochran, also a pastor, told the Miami Herald. "Over the course of his 25-year career in the music industry he employed over 300 people with different members of the band and the people at his church. He always looked after people. He ran his building like a big family."

Known in the Sixties and Seventies for his towering platinum white pompadour, lively performances and volcanic stage presence, the Georgia-born singer penned his classic teen tragedy song "Last Kiss" at the age of 21. However, inspired by his friends and fellow Georgia singers like James Brown, Little Richard and Otis Redding – Cochran had played bass on some early Redding recordings – the crooner shifted towards blue-eyed soul and R&B as frontman of his C.C. Riders.

"I grew up with Otis and James and Little Richard, the horns and everything, I thought that was commonplace," Cochran told Late Night With David Letterman in 1982.

Cochran is also credited with discovering legendary jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, who got his start by playing bass for the C.C. Riders as a teenager after auditioning for Cochran. Pastorius would soon go on to perform alongside Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny and the Weather Report.


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