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J. FRANK WILSON
J. Frank was born December 11, 1941 in Lufkin, TX. In 1962 J. Frank Wilson, After Being Discharged From Goodfellow Air Force Base, Auditioned For The San Angelo Based Group "The Cavaliers" (Sid Holmes-Lewis Elliott-Bob Zeller-Ray Smith). J. Frank Would Then Be Discovered By Independent Record Producer Sonley Roush Who Had Booked The Band At The Blue Note Club (3rd and Birdwell St) In Big Spring, Texas In 1962. After Signing A 3 Year Manager's Contract With Sid Holmes, In 1963, Frank Took A Leave Of Absents. In 1964 J. Frank Was Re-Instated As The Lead Singer For The Cavaliers Replacing John Maberry. The Cavaliers, J. Frank Wilson, Buddy Croyle, Lewis Elliott, Roland Atkinson, Jim Wynne And A Girl Who Sang In Church (unknown) Went About The Business Of Copying Wayne Cochran's Record In Ron Newdoll's Studio In San Angelo. With J. Frank In Top Form The Record (First Released On Tamara 761 & Le Cam 722) On Josie Started Moving Up The Billboard Charts. It Wasn't Long After This That Contract Disputes, Law Suits, And Greedy Un-Scrupulous Promoters Began Taking Their Toll. After Touring With The Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars The Cavaliers Quit On The Road Returning Back To San Angelo. A Short Time Later Sonley Roush (Road Mgr.) Died In A Car Crash While Touring With J. Frank, Murry Kellum (Long Tall Texan), Travis Wammack (Scratchy), Jerry Graham (Bass), Phil Trunzo (Drums) And Buddy Croyle (Guitar/Sax). The Song, Last Kiss, Had Been Based On An Actual Event That Took The Lives Of 3 Teens In Georgia. A Short Time After The Wreck J. Frank Appeared On American Bandstand, With His Leg In A Cast. He Lip-Synced "Last Kiss" And Introduced His New Follow-Up Single "Six Boys" Produced By Major Bill Smith Of Ft.Worth With Studio Musicians. This New Record Reached #98 In Cashbox Before Disappearing Into The Sunset. Another Follow-Up "Hey, Little One" Eased Into The Top 100 At #85. J. Frank Would Continue As A Single Act Traveling With Jerry Lee, The Righteous Brothers, The Animals, And Other Top Acts Until He Burned Out. Sadly, He Spent The Rest Of His Life Chasing Rainbows, Recording Song After Song, But Would Never Find The Pot Of Gold. In 1973 Wednesday, A Canadian Group, Took Their Turn At "Last Kiss" And They Ended Up With A #34 Hit Selling 200,000 Copies. During This Time (1973) J. Frank's Version Received Airplay On Radio Stations In San Antonio Bringing The Song Back In The Top 100. Then In 1980 Promoter Bett Winsett Got KONO Radio In San Antonio To Play His Version Again Giving Frank More False Hopes. J. Frank Wilson Was Totally Un-Prepaired For The Over-Night Success. He Had Poor Follow-Up Singles, A Rushed-Up Album Release & Went On An Ill-Advised Road Tour...Never Fully Recovering. In 1999 Rock Band Pearl Jam Records "Last Kiss".Reaching #2. In The Year 2000 VH-1 Fans Voted Last Kiss #3 In The All-Time Top 10 Cover Songs Plus The Song Received A BMI 2 Million Air-Play Award. After Returning Home From The Road In 1964 "The Cavaliers" Re-Organized. Wayne Cochran Lives In Miami. J. Frank Died on October 4, 1991 as a result of Alcohol Abuse.
Related links: A Tribute To J. Frank
The Real J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss" Story
The recording of "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson (vocalist), Sonley Roush (producer) and Ronald Newdoll (recording engineer) was done without prior written consent (see contract below) and was illegal in all aspects according to contract laws of the United States. The signing of J. Frank Wilson to yet; another contract during the years 1963-1966 by record producer Major Bill Smith was invalid. Josie Records did not have the legal right to exploit the "Last Kiss" recordings in 1964. Ron Newdoll and Major Bill Smith did not have the legal right collecting royalties and then suing Josie Records collecting additional royalties. Roulette Records (Morris Levy) did not have the legal rights obtaining the master tapes when Josie Records went bankrupt in 1970. In 1998 Ron Newdoll did not have the legal right to release the J. Frank Wilson "Last Kiss Sessions" CD. All of the above translates into Rhino Records (Time/Warner Co.), after obtaining the master tapes from Roulette Records (Morris Levy had received a 10 year prison sentence), not having the legal rights of licensing and exploiting the master tapes of "Last Kiss". For the record Mr. Sid Holmes did not authorize, by written consent or otherwise, any recordings to be made by Mr. J. Frank Wilson during 1964 nor any period between 1963 and 1966. Here's the contract...
THE STATE OF TEXAS
COUNTY OF TOM GREEN
THIS AGREEMENT made and entered into by and between SID HOLMES Jr., his address being 2409 San Antonio St. San Angelo, Texas Tom Green County and JOHN FRANK WILSON whose present address being 204 South Oakes St. San Angelo, Texas and permanent address being 607 Pecan St. Lufkin, Texas.
I. The Artist, JOHN FRANK WILSON does employ SID HOLMES JR. to act individually or collectively as his sole and exclusive manager and representative for Artist with respect to the services, appearance and endeavors in all matters and things in any and every capacity which artist enjoys as an entertainer, including but not limited to Artist's singing, personal appearances, endorsement of products, playing musical instruments, arranging musical renditions, making recordings on tape or records, making personal appearances whether such personal appearances involve merely interview of Artist or performance by Artist.
II. The term of this agreement shall be for a period of three years beginning January 22, 1963 and ending January 22, 1966.
III. Artist, John Frank Wilson, agrees not to engage any person, firm or corporation to perform any or all of the services to be performed by Agent, Sid Holmes Jr., except by and with written consent of Agent. Artist will not permit anyone other than Agent to use or advertise Artist's name or any other name in which Artist may hereafter adopt with the respect to the services or appearances of Artist without the prior written consent of Agent.
IV. Artist, John Frank Wilson, hereby agrees to and does hereby permit Agent, Sid Holmes Jr., to advertise the fact that Agent is Artist's exclusive manager and representative and Agent shall make such fact known wherever possible or whenever Agent deems such publicity advisable. Artist agrees that Artist will not perform or appear or offer to perform or appear in any professional capacity without prior written consent from Agent.
V. Agent, Sid Holmes Jr. will participate in the earnings of all contracts negotiated for and by the Artist, John Frank Wilson, during the term of this agreement and for the complete term of such contracts.
VI. It is agreed and understood that Agent, Sid Holmes Jr. may direct any person, firm, organization or corporation who becomes obligated to make payment of any sum to or on behalf of Artist John Frank Wilson. The term "net monies" shall be taken to mean the sum actually received after deduction of any expenses incurred by the person, firm or corporate organization disbursing the funds, but prior to any deduction of income taxes.
VII. The Agent, Sid Holmes Jr., hereby accepts such employment and agrees to us reasonable efforts to perform the following duties: To advise, aid and guide Artist with respect to Artist's professional career; to seek and promote the name, talents and artistic qualities of Artist; in behalf of Artist, to negotiate the terms of engagements and carry on business correspondence. It is agreed and understood that Agent, Sid Holmes Jr., shall at all times have complete control of the services which Artist, John Frank Wilson, shall render under the specifications of this contract.
VIII. In consideration of the services Artist, John Frank Wilson, agrees to 20% of all net monies earned.
Yep, that's his signature on the contract...
Sid Holmes (Guitar), Lewis Elliott (Bass), Jim Wynn (Sax), J. Frank Wilson (Vocals, Piano), Johnny Will Hunter (Drums) 1962
img top right: J. Frank Wilson Ballinger, Texas Jr/Sr Prom 1962.
img upper left: Sid Holmes and J. Frank Wilson 1964