The Hardest Working White Man in Show Business!!!
Wayne Cochran was alternately known as "The White Knight of Soul" and "The White James Brown." Both names were perfectly accurate. He wore a pompadour that was larger, higher and wider than anything James (or even Esquerita, for that matter) had ever dreamed of. The flamboyance of his onstage outfits knew only the bounds of his wild-ass imagination. He put together, managed and directed an incredibly good, tight band of White musicians knowns as the C.C. Riders. And on top of all of that, he could sing like nobody's business. His was one of the best voices of Soul at a time when White People just didn't do that.
To claim that he was discriminated against by the "Soul Music" scene would be like claiming that Hank Ballard could have, if he had wanted to, joined The Augusta National Golf Club in 1963. It is important to note, though, the degree to which discrimination can eventually hurt everybody. Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, though, were able to play some of the largest and most influential Black R&B clubs in the country and were always accepted and appreciated as the great band that they were.
Wayne, like Louis Prima, was also able to take Rock & Roll and Soul music in the Nightclubs where Lounge Music was usually played. He was always a big hit.
He became friends with Elvis, Ann-Margaret and Robert Conrad (having appeared in an episode of "Wild Wild West"). Conrad was inspired by Wayne and the Band to begin the creation of the 1970 film "C.C. Rider," which starred Joe Namath (as C.C. Rider) and Ann-Margaret and featured Wayne and the C.C. Riders in one scene.
Wayne attributes the inspiration for his Big Hair to two brothers, named Johnny and Edgar Winter, who were in a band called "It & Them" (further proof that Big Hair was, in fact, Not Invented at Hammerjacks!).
This really is a great soul album (almost more Bluesy than a lot of other soul records of the time). I would say I'm sad that I only have a Monophonic copy but I'd be lying. This sounds really fine to me.
- Get Ready
- Boom Boom
- The Peak of Love
- You Don't Know Like I Know
- Some-A' Your Sweet Love
- I'm Leaving It Up to You
- You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover
- Big City Woman
- Little Bitty Pretty One
- I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
- Get Down With It
- When My Baby Cries