Sunday, March 29, 2015

J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - The Last Kiss' Sessions




This US outfit was formed in the mid-50s in San Angelo, Texas, by Sid Holmes (guitar), Lewis Elliott (bass), Ray Smith (drums), Rob Zeller (saxophone) and Alton Baird (vocals). After years of little success, the group teamed up with new vocalist Frank Wilson (b. 11 December 1941, Lufkin, Texas, USA, d. 4 October 1991). Wilson was serving in the Air Force in San Angelo, Texas, and upon his discharge in 1962 the band stayed together to play in the area. Their lone US hit, ‘Last Kiss’ was one of the last of the particular genre known as ‘death rock’, in which teenagers sang about teenage lovers who meet horrifying deaths from accident, suicide, and fatal disease. (Others in this area included the Shangri-Las’ ‘Leader Of The Pack’, Mark Dinning’s ‘Teen Angel’ and Ray Peterson’s ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’.) ‘Last Kiss’ first charted in 1964, when it zoomed to number 2, and briefly charted again in 1973. The song was written and originally recorded without success by Wayne Cochran who, during the 60s had built up a career as a Caucasian version of James Brown. Shortly afterwards the line-up sundered, with Wilson forming his own version of the Cavaliers and recording ‘Hey Little One’, but the song had none of the inspiration of its predecessor and charted at only number 85. Wilson’s former bandmates, minus the ousted Holmes, continued playing as the Cavaliers with new members James Thomas (vocals) and Gene ‘Buddy’ Croyle (guitar). Further line-up changes ensued but these Cavaliers enjoyed as little success as the outfit led by Wilson. The latter embarked on a solo career in the mid-60s, but his progress was blighted by the alcoholism that took his life in 1991.




J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Last Kiss Sessions 1998
Collectables ‎– COL 0712

01. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Last Kiss
02. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Hey Little One
03. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - If You Knew Me
04. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Speak To Me
05. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Bound To Happen
06. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Not This Time
07. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Eenie, Meanie, Minie Moe
08. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Wine, Wine, Wine
09. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Summertime
10. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Run
11. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - I Saw Her Standing There
12. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - He'll Learn About It
13. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Too Many Girls
14. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - A Teenager In Love
15. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - A Kiss
16. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Hopeless Love
17. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Day Before Our Wedding
18. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Speak To Me [Outtakes]
19. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - Over The Mountain, Across The Sea
20. J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers - A Kiss


"Last Kiss" was a number two hit for J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers in 1964, and was one of the final gasps of the teen tragedy craze that blossomed in the early '60s. The Last Kiss Sessions consists of 20 recordings from -- you guessed it -- the "Last Kiss" sessions, including the hit title track and Wilson's only other hit, "Hey Little One." Although Wilson & the Cavaliers recorded numerous teen tragedy songs at these sessions, the compilers almost uniformly omitted them in favor of pop/rockers that allegedly illustrate the "true" sound of the group. Music buyers who are fond enough of "Last Kiss" to track down this CD may very well have a specific interest in dead-teen songs, and will be disappointed that the group's other forays into the genre are not included. As it is, fans are left with a menu of transitional pop/rock performances that fall somewhere between teen idol pop and British Invasion-informed garage rock. Several tracks are worthwhile, but more dead-teen songs would have been better.




Wanted original LP :



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