The regulars that Friday night in June of ’68 thought that perhaps a wedding band had gotten lost and was now setting up on the stage of the Grande. The polished shoes and tuxedos sure didn’t look promising and some folks started to leave. A few were snickering and laughing at the horn section of what appeared to be a Las Vegas lounge act. They chuckled only until the opening horn blast of the road tested Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders … Jaws suddenly hit the floor.
Having burned up the Southern chitlin’ circuit for years, Cochran had, in the previous year, already been to Detroit where he had earned the respect of the Soul Set at the 20 Grand. There even Motown’s Smokey Robinson was counted among his admirers. At the Grande the audience became unhinged and danced along with the blued eyed soul man’s rhythm and blues revue the rest of the night.
Here are some pictures from Ruth Hoffman that did not make the book.