J. Frank Wilson

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J. Frank Wilson
Birth name John Frank Wilson
Born (1941-12-11)December 11, 1941
Lufkin, Texas, United States
Died October 4, 1991(1991-10-04) (aged 49)
Lufkin, Texas, United States
Genres Rock and roll, R&B
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1960s–1991
Labels Various

John Frank Wilson (December 11, 1941 – October 4, 1991)[1] was an American singer, the lead vocalist of J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. Wilson was a West Texas Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.[2]


Wilson joined the Cavaliers after his discharge from Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas in 1962.

The Cavaliers' first chart hit was "Last Kiss", a song written by Wayne Cochran, who had based the song on a car accident in Barnesville, Georgia, near where he lived.[3]

The song, while only garnering minor success for Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, found major success for the Cavaliers. "Last Kiss" became a hit in June 1964, it reached the Top 10 in October of that year, eventually reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[3]

In October 1964, the British music magazine NME reported that Wilson had himself been involved in an auto accident near Lima, Ohio, in which his 27-year-old record producer, Sonley Rouch, was killed, and Wilson was seriously injured.[4]

While J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers recorded many more songs,[5] and "Last Kiss" was subsequently covered successfully by Wednesday and Pearl Jam, the band charted with only one other song, "Hey, Little One", which reached number 85.

Wilson, with or without the Cavaliers, continued to release records until 1978. He started working offshore oilfield in late 1970s and 1980s in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wilson died on October 4, 1991, at the age of 49, from alcoholism and complications from diabetes.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "J. Frank Wilson | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  2. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 1990 - 1991". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 2015-08-18.
  3. ^ a b Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 184. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 139. CN 5585.
  5. ^ "J. Frank Wilson : Discography". Koti.mbnet.fi. 2011-10-11. Archived from the original on March 20, 2005. Retrieved 2015-08-18.

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