Music News: 'Last Kiss' writer Wayne Cochran dies at 78

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A detail from Wayne Cochran's 'Last Kiss' single cover.
A detail from Wayne Cochran's 'Last Kiss' single cover. (courtesy the artist)

The writer of Pearl Jam’s biggest hit has died. No, it's not Eddie Vedder or Mike McCready — it's Wayne Cochran, nicknamed the "White Knight of Soul."

The singer-songwriter released his original version of "Last Kiss" in 1961, and it went on to become a number-two hit in two cover versions. J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers released their take in 1964, and when Pearl Jam released their version as a Christmas single in 1998, the song went back up the charts.

Cochran's other notable songs include "Goin' Back to Miami," which was popularized in the early '80s by the Blues Brothers. He spent his final decades as an evangelical minister, dying of cancer last week. (Rolling Stone)

The music world is also remembering power-pop artist Tommy Keene, who has died "unexpectedly and peacefully in his sleep" at age 59. Though Keene never became a household name, he had a cult following that included Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard, with whom he released a collaborative album in 2006. Over the course of a three-plus decade career, the Maryland native also performed with artists including Paul Westerberg and Matthew Sweet. (Billboard)

Meanwhile, David Cassidy’s daughter Katie Cassidy has shared her father's final words...and they are sobering. (Billboard)

Björk discusses "magic" Wu-Tang collaboration

Björk says that 20 years ago, she wrote a couple of "magic" songs with RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan. The songs never surfaced, though, because they didn't fit with her then-current project Homogenic and "it wasn't part of what Wu-Tang were doing at the time." In a recent interview with Fact, Björk says she hung out with the hip-hop collective a few times.

my favorite moment was when I did an in-store at Tower Records. I'd never done anything like that before. I turned up — and seven of the Wu-Tang Clan turned up to, like, protect me! I was signing books for an hour, and they sent some of their team, standing there with me. That was one of my all-time favorite moments: I had been on my own, so when they turned up I felt very protected. It was magic. In my eyes, they're punk. We are definitely [similar] — we do things in, like, a ritual way. The good thing was that I got to hang out with them. I got to see Wu-Tang's version of New York. Which was pretty cool. A very specific angle on that city that I feel very blessed to have experienced.

Taylor Swift ticks off streaming services...again

As Taylor Swift’s Reputation spends a second week at number one on the Billboard 200, to the deep frustration of streaming services. While streaming is increasingly becoming the recording industry standard, Swift has kept her new album off services like Spotify and Apple Music, instead compelling her fans to buy downloads or physical albums. The decision "sets the industry back," says Troy Carter, Spotify's global head of creator services.

When you do the math, though, Swift's decision is understandable. Reputation would have to be streamed over 140 times on Spotify for Swift to make as much money as she makes on a single CD sale. (Billboard)

The National cover Bob's Burgers Thanksgiving song

As Stereogum notes, "The National have a long history with Bob's Burgers, and they especially seem to love helping out with the show's holiday soundtrack. They've covered two different Thanksgiving-themed songs and a Christmas one, plus one called 'Bad Stuff Happens In The Bathroom' and a few others throughout the show's eight-season run." The National's latest Bob's Burgers cover: "Give It to Teddy," a song from the show's holiday weekend episode.


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