J. Frank Wilson (December 11, 1941 – October 4, 1991) was the lead vocalist for J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.
Born in Lufkin, Texas, Wilson joined the Cavaliers after his discharge from Goodfellow Air Force Base (San Angelo, Texas) in 1962. The Cavaliers' first chart hit was "Last Kiss". First released on Le Cam (722) and then on Tamara (761), it became a hit in June 1964 on Josie Records (Josie 923). It reached the Top 10 in October that year, eventually reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.
"Last Kiss" was written by Wayne Cochran, who had based the song on a car accident in Barnesville, Georgia near where he lived. The song was originally performed by Wayne Cochran & the C.C. Riders with little success.
While J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers recorded many more songs, 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 #85.
Wilson, with or without the Cavaliers, continued to release records until 1978. While he continued to tour and play, Wilson died on October 4, 1991, at the age of 49, from alcoholism.