The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 J. Frank Wilson

J. Frank Wilson

Birth
Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas, USA
Death 4 Oct 1991 (aged 49)
Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas, USA
Burial Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas, USA
Memorial ID 12602 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Rock Musician. A native of Lufkin, Texas, he is best remembered for his recording of the song, 'Last Kiss.' The lead singer of the group, 'J. Frank Wilson and The Cavaliers' he recorded the song (which was written by Wayne Cochran), in response to several deadly car accidents that had happened along a stretch of road in Georgia. That song became an instant hit for Wilson and his group, when it landed on the American pop charts in the fall of 1964. Wilson began his music career by accident after being discharged by the United States Air Force. Wilson met up with the Cavaliers who at the time were being led by guitarist Sid Holmes, and at the time also included bassist Lewis Elliott, saxophonist Rob Zeller, and drummer Ray Smith. The group had already been around since 1955, ending up in Memphis, Tennessee, before landing in San Angelo, Texas, in 1962. Touring around they wanted a lead singer, and immediately hearing about Wilson, they added him to there lineup. The new group toured around Texas appearing in clubs and other attractions, and it was at one of these clubs that they met Sonley Roush. Roush who loved the song 'Last Kiss' introduced it to Wilson, and had him record it. In turn, for them recording it, Roush wouuld produce it and let them record at a friend's studio. They soon recorded the song, and it was released in 1964, on the Le Cam Record Label, and then the Tamara Record Label. According to different sources Wilson let his new found fame go to his head, he started drinking, and got highly involved in sex, and other activities. After a few more gigs, Wilson made Roush the band's full time manager. In the fall of 1964, tragedy struck the band, when en route to a gig in Canton, Ohio, Roush fell asleep at the wheel and was killed. Wilson who was also in the vehicle escaped but was injured. Following the accident, Wilson appeared on the program, "American Bandstand," on crutches. Wilson decided it was time to move on and left the Cavaliers, but assembled another group by the same name with Jose Records. He released the song, 'Hey Little One,' shortly afterwards, but it only went to #85 on the music charts. The song, a cover of one done by Dorsey Burnette wasn't a great success. Although Wilson continued to record throughout the 1970s, he soon called it quits. Wilson who couldn't come to terms with his status as a 'one-hit wonder' became an alcoholic, was married and divorced eight times, and had money problems. On October 4, 1991, J. Frank Wilson died at the age of 49. He was buried in his native Lufkin, Texas. Other songs by Wilson include, 'Not The Time,' 'A Kiss,' 'Bound To Happen,' 'Speak To Me,' 'If You Know Me,' and 'Run.'


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was J. Frank Wilson?

Current rating:

45 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 17 Sep 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12602
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for J. Frank Wilson (11 Dec 1941–4 Oct 1991), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12602, citing Garden of Memories Cemetery, Lufkin, Angelina County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .