Mohair Slim: I don't want to be rude straight up, but Wikipedia doesn't have your birthday. Is that deliberate? Have you concealed that, or they just haven't done their research?
Wayne Cochran: I guess hadn't done their research. I was born May 10th, 1939.
Mohair Slim: There you go. 1939. You grew up in Georgia, is that correct?
Wayne Cochran: Yes.
Mohair Slim: Tell us about where you grew up and what it was like.
Wayne Cochran: Well, I'm from a little town called Thomaston, Georgia. It's about 44 miles west of Macon, Georgia, and about 70 miles south of Atlanta. It's right in the center of Georgia ... just a little town, and I grew up there. And my daddy worked in a cotton mill, and I did various odd jobs around there.
Mohair Slim: Yeah. The community you grew up in, was it mainly a white community, mainly black community, or mix of both?
Wayne Cochran: I grew up out in the country, in a very small neighborhood, and it was primarily all white.
Mohair Slim: Was that in there amongst the Georgia pines? Because, I once visited a town called Dry Branch, Georgia, which was the most amazing setting I've ever seen, just right there in the forest.
Wayne Cochran: It was like that. We was out in the country, and of course, anywhere in Georgia you got Georgia pines, you know.
Mohair Slim: Yeah. The music thing ... How early were you, when you realized that you appreciated music, perhaps more than others?
Wayne Cochran: Well, I wound up moving to Macon, and that's where my singing career really got started off. A lot of people from my area ... In fact, Logtown, Georgia is where Little Richard's from, and that's 14 miles from my hometown. And then there was, Otis Redding is out of Georgia, Dawson, Georgia, and James Brown from Augusta, Georgia, and Little Richard's from Logtown, and Otis is ... There's several singers from around there. I don't know why. There's not a lot of sing around there, but we all like music.
Mohair Slim: What sort of music would you see live, growing up around Macon and that area?
Wayne Cochran: Well, it was mostly country western music. I met Otis when he was singing with a group called Johnny Jenkins and The Pinetoppers, out of a club in Gray, Georgia, and he was a singer with that band. That's where I met Otis.
Mohair Slim: Johnny Jenkins was the guitarist in the band, wasn't he?
Wayne Cochran: Yes. Johnny "Guitar" Jenkins.
Mohair Slim: Tell me, what sort of material was Otis Redding building in those days with Johnny Jenkins?
Wayne Cochran: Well he was singing things like ... Oh, I don't know, just different kinds of blues songs that was current back then. There was no R&B. Basically, that group had come out of that area created R&B, which was basically just a black rock and roll. Soul music, or funk, that was James Brown's thing. He didn't really do R&B, he did funk music. But Otis, he did R&B.
As far as I know, Otis' first hit was a song called "Mr. Pitiful" and it was one of the first songs ever, then, to have horns in it. And it came off good and it was a big song for him. He wrote a song called "These Arms Are Mine" and we were friends, so I published it at Cochran Music Company, and course none of us had no money back then, and I needed a reverb system to run my microphone through, and it cost $149, so I sold Cochran Music, "These Arms Are Mine" for $149. Boy, don't I wish I hadn't of done that.
Mohair Slim: You sold it to Phil Walden, didn't you? Wasn't that Otis' manager at the time?
Wayne Cochran: Yes. Yep. [inaudible 00:04:57] He was going to college, and his daddy owned a clothing store there in town, and he started managing Otis and he did a good job with him.
Mohair Slim: Can you remember the first time you met Otis Redding?
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, the first time was at that club I was talking about when he was singing with Johnny "Guitar" Jenkins and The Pinetoppers. He was in Gray, Georgia. I can't remember the name of the club right now, but that was the first time I met him, was there.
Mohair Slim: Were you already singing by that time?
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, I was singing but mostly then we were just doing rock and roll, and I really liked the way the blues sounded, and that's when I started trying to do blues.
Mohair Slim: And before that, you were doing kind of like, rockabilly material, "rock and roll" as you call it. And-
Wayne Cochran: [inaudible 00:06:03]
Mohair Slim: A great version of "Liza Jane" that you did.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, originally that was recorded by Dale Hawkins, "Liza Jane".
Mohair Slim: [crosstalk 00:06:16] had "Suzie Q" as well, and I've noticed that he's credited as the arranger on that song. So, was he present at the session, was he?
Wayne Cochran: Who is that?
Mohair Slim: Dale Hawkins.
Wayne Cochran: No, but I took the song and arranged it the way it was, and he took it and recorded ... He got a good hit on it.
Mohair Slim: Did any of those early records, "Cindy Marie", "Last Kiss", any of those sell at all?
Wayne Cochran: Well, around Georgia, just locally. "Last Kiss" that I wrote, I recorded that for a company out of Valdosta, Georgia named Gala Records. And we just went around Georgia doing radio station interviews, and I would take some of those records in the trunk of my car, so if I was going to do a radio interview, I would go to a record shop in that town, and they would buy a few of them. And we kept doing that until "Last Kiss" got up on the charts in Georgia, this is in Georgia alone. Then I recorded that for King records, and they put it out and a guy in Odessa, Texas was recording an album at the time, and on the way to the studio every day, he would hear that song. And I guess that was probably the only place it was playing in. And he liked it so he went in the studio and did an exact copy of it, arrangement and all, and his name was J. Frank Wilson, out of a group called The Cavaliers, and it went to number one.
Mohair Slim: He didn't really change your version very much, did he?
Wayne Cochran: No, he didn't change it at all hardly.
Mohair Slim: Can you tell us the story behind the writing of that song?
Wayne Cochran: Well, I lived on the strip of Highway 1941, just south of Thomaston, Georgia, and there was sort of two-lane paved road. It was a main road then, they didn't have four-lane roads then. And there was a lot of accidents, a lot of people killed on that road so I was gonna write a song about that. And the Sam Cooke-type thing, I liked Sam Cooke then. And so I wrote that song about car wrecks there on that highway. That's where that came from.
Mohair Slim: The story is that you ended up playing with Otis Redding. Is that true? Can you talk about that?
Wayne Cochran: Well, Otis, we become good friends. He would come to the house on Sunday, out in the country, and we sat and played guitar and would sing together. He sung country music really well then, too. 'Course, there wasn't no R&B. It was just rock and roll, and blues, and country. So, yeah, and I say when he got started with his band, I sung with him then a little bit but we mostly had our own bands, doing our own thing. We just remained good friends. In fact, I was with Otis two weeks before he got killed. He had had throat surgery. I'd had it twice, and he couldn't sing for four weeks, and he was gonna come to Miami and stay a weekend with me and my wife down here, while he was resting.
And he got a call from a TV show up in Cleveland we all did called "Upbeat", which is like a Dick Clark-type show, and he went up there to do that. He was supposed to leave that weekend. He went up there to do that and they talked him into going to Madison, Wisconsin while he was already up there, and doing a gig that would be the first gig him back singing after he had gone off resting his voice from surgery.
And his pilot really messed up, caused that accident. 'Cause, you know, every time a pilot lands, before he takes off again, he's supposed to put all his instruments back on zero, and then reset them for elevation, altitude, everything else before you take off, and he didn't reset any of those ... They parked that night, he didn't reset any of those instruments, and got up, and flew to Wisconsin. So, they were all set wrong for his altitude and [inaudible 00:11:04] and everything, and he actually flew into that lake. He didn't know he was that low. So, that's what caused Otis to be killed.
Mohair Slim: I'd never heard that story before. That's fascinating.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, he actually flew into that lake. He killed everybody on the plane except one of the Bar-Kays, which was the name of Otis' band. He was sitting by the window, and when the wing hit the water, it pulled that wing off, and threw him out in the lake, and he was the only one that lived.
Mohair Slim: Yeah, that was Ben Cauley, right?
Wayne Cochran: Huh?
Mohair Slim: Ben Cauley was his name and he went on to continue the Bar-Kays after that.
Wayne Cochran: Yep, yep, and Otis went down with the airplane. He was strapped in the co-pilot seat and he went down with it.
Mohair Slim: You played on Otis Redding's ... I think it's his first record, isn't it? It's "Shout Bamalama".
Wayne Cochran: It's "Shout Bamalama" and "Fat Gal" was the other side. "Fat Gal" was a song Little Richard gave him, 'cause Otis did a lot of Little Richard stuff back then. And "Shout Bamalama" I had published, and he recorded that, and it was a good record for him.
Mohair Slim: Is it true you played bass on the session?
Wayne Cochran: Yes, I did. I played bass on that and on the other side, "Fat Gal".
Mohair Slim: Do you remember if that was recorded?
Wayne Cochran: I think it was recorded in University of Georgia recording studios in Athens, Georgia.
Mohair Slim: Yeah. Now, talk about your first recordings with King, how did you get to know Syd Nathan, how did you get signed for King? What's the whole story there?
Wayne Cochran: The whole what?
Mohair Slim: The whole story of how you arrived at King Records.
Wayne Cochran: Well, I was recording and I did a lot of James Brown stuff, and James Brown's on King Records, and Syd Nathan, who's the president of King Records signed me because my manager knew him, so he signed me and it really wasn't a good label for me 'cause they did all R&B and soul and I was just doing straight rock and roll at the time. And I recorded "Last Kiss" ... As I said, it just didn't do anything except for this one town in Texas, and J. Frank Wilson records it, and within a few weeks, it was number two in the nation, I think. And I went into Syd Nathan's office and I said, "Syd, why didn't my record of 'Last Kiss' sell any records?" He said, "'Cause it wasn't no good." I said, "Then tell me, why is it number two in Billboard this week?" And I laid a Billboard on his desk and he didn't say no more.
Mohair Slim: You recorded at least five singles for Syd Nathan, including one of your better-known early songs, "The Coo". Tell me about that song.
Wayne Cochran: Well, I liked Bill Doggett. He was an instrumentalist back then, played the organ, and Bill Doggett had a song called "Honky Tonk", and I liked that lick, so I took that lick and put it onto the song I wrote, called "The Coo". And it got banned in most radio station, they wouldn't play it. But it got played in a few and did pretty good.
Mohair Slim: You also had a record on King that I heard recently, called "Mr. Lonely", that is a beautiful recording.
Wayne Cochran: "Mr. Lonely" ... No, I don't.
Mohair Slim: It's a ballad in Thee Midniter's style, like a low rider-type ballad. Maybe something like Eddie and [inaudible 00:15:33] going for yourself or one of those ones.
Wayne Cochran: Like Hank Ballard & The Midnighters?
Mohair Slim: No, no, Mexican-American group out of L.A., called "Thee Midniters" with two "E"s. Anyway, it's a sentimental ballad with big horns. It's a really nice tune.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah. I don't remember a lot about that. That was a lot of years ago and I recorded a lot of things, so some of them I don't even remember. I see them in my catalog, in Billboards, or BMI, and some of them are so long ago I don't even remember. A couple songs I wrote for a girl singer named Jean Kiff. That may be one you're talking about.
Mohair Slim: Well I did find the song you wrote when you were at King for a lady called Alice [inaudible 00:17:28]. Do you remember that?
Wayne Cochran: Carl What?
Mohair Slim: Alice [inaudible 00:17:21]. It's "The Candy Man".
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I faintly remember that. I don't remember a lot about it.
Mohair Slim: I should send you a copy of it.
Wayne Cochran: Do what?
Mohair Slim: I should send you a copy of it, so you can hear it.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, I'd like to see that. I'd like to hear it.
Mohair Slim: And while you were at King, you even recorded one of James Brown's songs. You did a version of "Think".
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, I did a version of "Think" and I wrote a song off of ... I believe it was a James Brown song called "I'll Go Crazy" ... I wrote a song called "I'll Go Crazy" that was a takeoff from one of his songs. And then I wrote a song called "No Rest For The Wicked" that I put on the back of the song called "Somebody Please", which was a takeoff on a James Brown song.
Mohair Slim: I'm gonna correct you there. I think "No Rest For The Wicked" was the other side of "Get Down With It".
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, "Get Down With It". My first song to make the charts was "Harlem Shuffle". That song made the charts, and the next song was called "Get Down With It", and I introduced that, that and "Going Back To Miami" on The Jackie Gleason Show.
Mohair Slim: "Get Down With It" is best known as a recording by Bobby Marchan. Is that where you heard it?
Wayne Cochran: Probably so, I don't remember, though. I remember starting, I'm going, "Everybody let your hair down. If you don't feel like letting it down, take it off. Everything's alright." That was the first line in it.
Mohair Slim: That's it. That's it exactly. So, "Get Down With It" was a hit. "Harlem Shuffle" was a hit that was a cover of Bob & Earl song.
Wayne Cochran: I don't remember who had recorded "Harlem Shuffle", but I heard it and I loved that guitar lick, and then the chord changes, so I recorded it and it made the charts from it.
Mohair Slim: And there's another white artist did a version of "Harlem Shuffle", a guy by the name of Roy Head. Did you know Roy Head at all?
Wayne Cochran: No, I didn't, but I remember him. What was his big song...?
Mohair Slim: "Treat Her Right".
Wayne Cochran: Hmm?
Mohair Slim: "Treat Her Right".
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yeah. "Treat Her Right", Roy Head. Yeah, that was a good record. He got good sales on that.
Mohair Slim: And he was known for outrageous stage antics, doing splits, and jumps, and flips, and all that sort of thing. By this time, were you starting to develop your stage act, or had you already been doing that for a while?
Wayne Cochran: I've been doing it for a while.
Mohair Slim: Yeah. Can you tel us a little bit about what you used to do on the live shows in the mid-60's?
Wayne Cochran: Well, I used to do ... We didn't have shows in this part of the country. We're mostly dance bands and what happened was, we were playing a dance, and I did a song [inaudible 00:20:14] called "Shout". And doing that song, I don't know why I did it ... One night I got out on the dance floor, got down on my knees and was doing [inaudible 00:20:24] and going up and down, and everybody quit dancing and stood around and watched. And that was just amazing so I thought I would try more of that, but that was my first take on doing the show instead of just playing for a dance.
Mohair Slim: Did you take little bits from other shows you saw? I mean, [inaudible 00:20:45] Jackie Wilson used to drop the mic and then catch it with his foot and things like that. Would you see other shows and say, "Oh, I'll borrow that. I'll borrow this from James Brown," or how did it work?
Wayne Cochran: Well, Jackie Wilson, myself, and a few others got that from a guy named Joe Tex. He was the first one to do that. He did a lot of mic tricks, Joe Tex did. And then Jackie Wilson started doing it, but Jackie Wilson had a great voice. I did some gigs with him. I played the Royal Theater in Baltimore, I think, with him and he was a great singer, good showman.
Mohair Slim: [crosstalk 00:21:28] he was such a good showman, wasn't he ... The women used to go a bit crazy when he would hit the knees?
Wayne Cochran: When they was what?
Mohair Slim: That the women would go a bit crazy, the stories of them knocking down the dressing room door and all sorts of things.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah. That was the very first day [inaudible 00:21:53] show business, and rock and roll days. I remember I loved Elvis Presley before I ever left home, that's when he was in Sun Records, and before he signed with RCA Victor, and he had a song that was real good that was called "Goodnight of Rocking" and that was sort of a rock and roll song, boogie song. I really liked that. [crosstalk 00:22:26]
Mohair Slim: Who was your favorite artist when you were coming up?
Wayne Cochran: He had another on Sun Record, called "Baby Let's Play House" that was the first song that really used echo chamber, and that was really good. I liked that.
Mohair Slim: Do you remember what was kind of the first black records you heard when you were growing up in Thomaston?
Wayne Cochran: Do I remember what?
Mohair Slim: Some of the first black records you heard when you were growing up in Thomaston?
Wayne Cochran: I still didn't understand what you said, I'm sorry.
Mohair Slim: I was wondering what were some of the first black music records you heard, blues or rhythm and blues, that you heard when you were very young?
Wayne Cochran: I was trying to think of one. One that I really like was recorded by Little Willie John. You might remember that. I can't remember the name of it right now.
Mohair Slim: Was it "Fever"?
Wayne Cochran: "Fever", oh, yeah.
Mohair Slim: [crosstalk 00:23:27]
Wayne Cochran: Also recorded by Peggy Lee. She got a hit on that.
Mohair Slim: That's it. Now, what happened at Mercury Records? Why weren't some of these records bigger hits? They sound very commercial, or accessible, or something these days.
Wayne Cochran: Well, Mercury Records, there was a guy there who liked me who signed me, and we put out a few records on Mercury, and they promoted them a little, not a lot. And so I got a couple of chart records, but then Mercury was taken over by a company that didn't really like me, so they kind of canned me and put me on a shelf.
Mohair Slim: You recorded "Going Back To Miami" for Mercury. Was that a hit straight away, or did you make it a hit off the back of your touring?
Wayne Cochran: Well, "Going Back To Miami" I wrote to perform on The Jackie Gleason Show. I wrote it particularly for that. And "Going Back To Miami" was what you call an "air hit" back then. Sometimes a song would be played a lot on radio but it didn't sell much, and "Going Back To Miami" was a big radio hit, but it didn't sell many records.
Mohair Slim: Were you living in Miami, or did you have any association with Miami when you wrote that?
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, I was living in Miami when I wrote that. It's basically about going on the road and then you get to go back home, going back to Miami, going back to my girl. 'Cause my wife lived in Miami while I was traveling and I'd go back home and we lived there together.
Mohair Slim: You also recorded for Chess Records shortly after that. Tell me about the Chess Records experience.
Wayne Cochran: Well, Chess Records, I did one album with. We recorded that at Rick Hall Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and they put that out and I got some good airplay and good sales on a cover I did called "Get Ready". I forgot who recorded that originally.
Mohair Slim: It was Four Tops' song, I think.
Wayne Cochran: It might have been. I got some good airplay and good sales off of that. There's a guy with Mercury Records named Morris Diamond and he really liked me when I signed with them, but then they sold the company, I think, to Philips Records and they didn't do that kind of music so they never released nothing else on me.
Mohair Slim: You recorded a song at Chess called "Some-a Your Sweet Love". Do you remember that one?
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yeah. I remember writing that song.
Mohair Slim: You sound very much like Bobby "Blue" Bland on that recording. Was that deliberate? Was he an influence for you?
Wayne Cochran: Was what deliberate?
Mohair Slim: The Bobby "Blue" Bland sound that you had on that recording.
Wayne Cochran: Well, I recorded [inaudible 00:26:51] the horn parts and everything, and I just liked that song. I wrote it the way I wanted it to go, and I enjoyed doing it.
Mohair Slim: Did you ever see Bobby "Blue" Bland play in those days?
Wayne Cochran: My favorite singer at that time, blues singer, was Bobby "Blue Boy" Bland with the Joe Scott Orchestra. Boy, Bobby Bland had an incredible voice. I mean, just an incredible voice, awesome. Bobby Bland might have been, to me, the best blues singer ever. I remember he had a big song that I loved called "Two Steps from the Blues". Boy, his voice on that song was just unbelievable.
Mohair Slim: That "Some-a Your Sweet Love" sounds a lot like his "Turn On Your Love Light".
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, it was sort of like "Turn On Your Love Light". I think that was Bobby Bland, wasn't it?
Mohair Slim: It was, yes.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah. He was a great singer, Bobby "Blue Boy" Bland, but to me he sounded best and his great song was "Two Steps from the Blues". What a song, and the horns on that song was just absolutely awesome. They were awesome. They had the horn introduction to that song of his was fantastic.
Mohair Slim: You've always loved the sound with the big horns and you've made it a part of your sound, haven't you?
Wayne Cochran: Well, I'd seen, when I was young in Thomaston, a move called "The Glenn Miller Orchestra" and that was my first introduction to hearing horns. I'd always been listening to country music. And his horn sounded so good, Glenn Miller. Remember he had a big song called "In The Mood", "String of Pearls", and that's when I tried to add horns to my band, and try to figure out, then, how to use them actually. So that-
Mohair Slim: [crosstalk 00:29:10] The James Brown Famous Flames stage show was also an influence?
Wayne Cochran: Well, James Brown and The Flames ... James was a prizefighter when he was young. Small guy, but he was a prizefighter, and he actually got in a fight with a guy on the street and killed him. And he was in prison for life. And Syd Nathan heard his song, just him and The Flames and a piano, called "Please, Please, Please", and Syd Nathan's comment was, "When you hear a guy say one word through a whole song that many times, 'please, please', and he gets a hit on it, he's got to be incredible." So, that's when he bought James Brown and out him on King Records. James Brown in prison was called "The Music Box", 'cause he would always dance and sing.
Mohair Slim: The other person in the 60's who had bigger hair than James Brown was yourself. Did you always have that outrageous hairstyle?
Wayne Cochran: Did I always have what?
Mohair Slim: An outrageous hairstyle, the big pompadour.
Wayne Cochran: Oh, James Brown had a black pompadour. His hair was black, he had a pompadour. I loved the way it looked, so my hair was brunette and I went and had it bleached and bleached 'till it turned white, and I did a pompadour of my own with that, and that was sort of the white version of James Brown's pompadour 'cause at that time James Brown was sort of my idol and I really liked him. I liked his clothes. He had great clothes. I remember he had so many clothes, one of his things he would do, he took a tractor-trailer truck around with his wardrobe in it, and he would charge a dollar for people to go in and go through the truck, look at his wardrobe. So, he loved clothes, and I got into clothes because of that and my first clothes that I designed was very similar to his. And he was my idol so I did a lot of things that he did.
Mohair Slim: Did you have to carry a beautician on tour with you to do your hair every night?
Wayne Cochran: When I got known for my hair, I had to carry a beautician with me 24 hours a day, seven days a week on the road. I paid him a straight salary, and he would get up in the morning and I wouldn't go to the restroom or nothing 'till he did my hair, because I got known for the hair and so I had it done whenever I went anywhere.
Mohair Slim: How long would it take to do the hair in the morning?
Wayne Cochran: It would take probably half an hour to 45 minutes, maybe an hour.
Mohair Slim: And the capes and the jumpsuits, did you design them yourself? Who made them?
Wayne Cochran: I designed all my capes I wore. Actually there was this ... I wore suits with a cape, and Elvis Presley come to see me. He liked the show and so he started wearing a suit like that, with a cape. It was a short, formal cape. And I knew I couldn't look like that so I went and started wearing jumpsuits, and designed a jumpsuit, and then he started wearing those. But it's quite a compliment because he was one of my idols, and he actually started opening his show with the song "C.C Rider", as sort of a gesture towards me. I really appreciated that.
Mohair Slim: You were working out of Vegas at one time, weren't you?
Wayne Cochran: Huh?
Mohair Slim: During what years were you working out of Las Vegas?
Wayne Cochran: I'm sorry, I couldn't understand that.
Mohair Slim: Sorry, you lived in Las Vegas for a number of years. Did you not?
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yes I did, 'cause you can work there instead of one-nighters. I remember one time I did 269 one-nighters with no days off, and traveling two to four hundred miles a day between cities, and it's just totally exhausting. And you can go to Las Vegas and stay there for 28 days, four weeks, and that was like a vacation, man. And it got to where I could do that in Miami 'cause it was a tourist city, so then I would spend about four to six months a year, either in Las Vegas or in Miami. It was the only place I had to sort of live in a home, you know?
Mohair Slim: Yep. I like the moment in the film, The Blues Brothers, where they mention you and your band. You've seen that, I take it?
Wayne Cochran: Yeah, well, I got a call from Dan Aykroyd at my home down here, and he said they were in the studio doing an album and they did some of my songs. And John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd had come to see me in Toronto, Canada, in a place called the El Mocambo. And leaving there, they said, "You know, we wanted to do R&B music and they said white guys couldn't do that, but we just saw one that did so let's do an R&B album." And so they did their first album and they would call me at home and say, "Listen, on this song, why did you do this?" Or, "Why did you do that?" And we would talk and they later dedicated that song to me, on the record. They actually said the dedication on the record itself.
And on their first live album, I was in the audience to see them. I went down front and they saw me, and they pulled me up on the stage, and they said, "You know, our mission is music and he is the music." Well I was sort of embarrassed, I didn't know what to say so I just hollered, "The Blues Brothers!" So if you listen to their live album, there's a voice going off [inaudible 00:35:42] called, "The Blues Brothers!" That was me. They put that in there.
Mohair Slim: Wow, that's an amazing story. It's surprising they didn't have you in the film itself.
Wayne Cochran: It what?
Mohair Slim: It's surprising you weren't asked to be in the film itself.
Wayne Cochran: Yeah. I know they have a scene where they was talking to Steve Lawrence, I believe, and they was talking about uniforms and they said, "We want a suit with stars on it," 'cause I had a suit then I wore with stars on it. And they put a line in the movie where he says, "Who do you think you are? Wayne Cochran?" They put that line in there just for me and I enjoyed hearing that. That was a thrill.
Mohair Slim: Yeah, that is an honor. One of the most important films of the last hundred years.
Wayne Cochran: It was what?
Mohair Slim: It was one of the best-selling films of the last hundred years.
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yeah?
Mohair Slim: Oh, yeah, Blue's Brothers. Everyone in the world's seen it and everyone's heard that line.
Wayne Cochran: I enjoyed that movie quite a bit.
Mohair Slim: Do you ever sing your secular music anymore?
Wayne Cochran: Sing what?
Mohair Slim: Do you ever sing your old songs anymore?
Wayne Cochran: Well, no, 'cause I pastor a church now. I have for about 35 years. I do some spiritual music every now and then. Not a lot, 'cause I have six singers and I have a six-piece band, and they do all the praise and worship and I just do the preaching ad the teaching. So I don't really sing a lot anymore. I know this past Sunday, there was a woman who passed away, and her favorite song that I did was a song called "Holy Spirit" and I sung that this past Sunday. First time I sing in a pretty good while. So I sing every now and then, not often.
Mohair Slim: If you were to receive an invitation, do you think you would do a one-off comeback show of your C.C Riders material?
Wayne Cochran: Well, the thing was, if I was to do that, I'd have to have a band that I'd have to rehearse with, and do the arrangements so it would sound like it did then, you know?
Mohair Slim: Yeah. It's just, there is a concert that happens in New Orleans every two years called the Ponderosa Stomp. Have you ever heard of that?
Wayne Cochran: No.
Mohair Slim: So, what they do is, they get people on the show who haven't played for, in a lot of cases, decades, and people from all over the world, like myself, come there who are enthusiasts of soul, and rhythm and blues, and rockabilly, and you see these artists. So, for instance, [crosstalk 00:39:02] is on the show this year, and Roy Head is on the show. Fats Domino has been there, and all those sort of guys. I know they would be very interested in having you on one time.
Wayne Cochran: Well, but you see, in order for me to do that, I'd have to have a band that I can rehearse with and arrange the songs so that the band would know how to play behind me what I wanted to hear. So it would take some time for rehearsal for that.
Mohair Slim: I was asking whether there's anything else you wanted to talk about from your history that we haven't gone over.
Wayne Cochran: Well, I don't know. I had an interesting career. I enjoyed every minute of it and I just thank God for all the people out there that enjoyed our show, and attended. We have great attendance wherever we went. We'd have waiting lines. And I just really appreciate that and I thank God that I was able to do that, and because of that, quite a few people still remember me. That's always nice to be remembered.
Mohair Slim: Do you ever miss the touring, the big gigs, going on stage in front of thousands of people?
Wayne Cochran: Oh, yeah. That was my joy. I enjoyed performing, and choreographing, and arranging, and we had a pretty good live show. In fact, I've had Playboy Magazine did an edition in December, I believe it was in '73. And they covered the past 10 years of music that made music history, and they talked about all the artists and everything, and the whole article ended with that there was a 6'1 blonde bombshell, and if he ever comes to your town, you oughta go see him. You'll get a complete religious experience because he is, without a doubt, the greatest performer in this century, and because Ozone can't be captured on plastic, he'll forever do roadshows. So if he comes to your town, go see him. That was how the article ended. I really appreciated that. Yeah, I just couldn't believe that. "Entertainer of the century", wow.