Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders

Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders was a Vegas show band, known for the type of performance you'd catch in a casino lounge at Caesar's Palace or the Flamingo. Cochran was determined to be the white James Brown. He never pulled it off, being that his entire act was clearly a cop of what Brown, Little Richard, Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and other landmark black artists were already doing. Still, that never stopped him from trying, and at times he came close to achieving his own, unique onstage greatness.

Cochran, topped with a massive, mile-high white pompadour and dolled-up in gaudy, Sam Nudie-styled jump suits (it's rumored that Elvis took to wearing these suits after seeing Cochran), was always a consummate showman. Even so, his act often suffered from the critical opinion that Cochran, at times, was simply offering a white boy rendition of what R&B's best stars were already doing much better. That is not to say his massive, horn-driven band isn't exceptional, however - because it is. One listen to the group should be enough to convince. In 1981, Cochran dropped out of music and became a born again Christian. Soon after, he started his own fire and brimstone gospel ministry, which is still going strong today.

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