Soul singer Wayne Cochran, perhaps as notorious for his towering white pompadour and wild outfits as he was his music, died on Nov. 21st in Miami at age 78.
Born in Thomaston, Georgia, Cochran relocated to Macon after dropping out of high school to pursue a music career. He played bass on Otis Redding’s single “Shout Bamalama,” was labelmates with James Brown on King Records and also recorded for Chess and Epic Records. His song “Last Kiss” was a hit for J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, whose version reached #2 in 1964; it was also recorded and released as a single by Pearl Jam in the late ’90s. The Blues Brothers included their cover of Cochran’s “Going Back to Miami” on their 1980 live album Made in America.
Cochran retired from music in the mid 1970s, and became an evangelist minister in Miami. Read Rev. Billy C. Wirtz’s Georgia Music feature on Wayne Cochran published back in 2008 here.