Last Kiss

Hey, hi! Glad you stopped by 😉

The Battle Of the Bands (BOTB) is your basic Which-do-you-like-best contest where the one that gets the most votes wins. All you have to do is show up (the 1st of every month) give a listen and cast your vote in the comment section. Votes will be tallied and the winner revealed on the 8th day of the month.

Known in some circles as The White Knight of Soul, not even Wayne Cochran’s flamboyant stage presence (laughably gigantic white pompadour and outlandish outfits) nor the fact that he wrote the song featured in today’s battle was able to garner the singer of “Blue-eyed blues” and the C.C Riders more than a single that didn’t quite chart in 1961. He tried again in 1963, under a different label with similar results.

A year later, J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers revived the song and took it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100’s in June of 1964. This was the version I must have heard a hundred times as it and other treasures continuously played in the room of my (then) teen-aged aunt.

By the time I was a teen and finally trusted not to contaminate or damage anything, I was allowed access to my aunt’s outstanding collection of what we now know as “Golden Oldies”. As time went on, I heard the popular teen tragedy song less and less and had all but forgotten about it until I heard it playing in my own daughter’s room! I could not believe she’d come across the age-old hit by Wilson and the Cavaliers.

As it happened, my daughter was listening to a new version performed by Pearl Jam after vocalist Eddie Vedder found the old version in an Antique Mall in Seattle, WA, and convinced the band to try it. Their cover and subsequent release in 1999 (also) eventually climbed to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100s and remains Pearl Jam’s highest-peaking single.

So there you have it, folks. Which do you like best?

After you vote, and before you go – I highly recommend visiting the rest of the BOTB participants – they’re pros! And a few of them hold two battles a month! Here’s where to find them:

STMcC – Presents Battle of the Bands

Arlee – Tossing it Out

Cathy – Curious as a Cathy

John – The Sound of One Hand Typing

Mike – Mike’s Ramblings

Mary –

Debbie – The Doglady’s Den

Published by diedre Knight

Inspired by nature, encouraged by life. Writer, blogger, mother, sister, friend, and wife.

15 thoughts on “Last Kiss

      1. The screw up I referred to is with my link. Sometimes I do something wrong and it doesn’t appear right. Also, my head just wasn’t in the right place. For some reason I thought you were saying J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers was the original artist. I think it was just too early for me and judging by the time stamp I hadn’t had my coffee yet. There you go, mystery solved. Thanks for sharing Wayne’s version. TTFN!


  1. I’m glad you joined BOTB. I love this song and like Pearl Jam’s version but my heart belongs to the original. It’s a sad song and a song that could be in a David Lynch movie ot the show Twin Peaks. It could also be in a Tarantino film. Anyway, I vote for Frank Wilson


  2. When I first heard “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam I was kind of impressed that they dug up one of my favorite songs from my early teen years to provide a credible updated cover version. They do a decent job with it.

    However, between their version and the original I’ve got to go with J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers. It’s better in every way–vocals are smoother and more listenable, the instrumental backing is superior with the steady percussive sound, and those ethereal female backing vocals cap it all off so sublimely.

    A vote for J. Frank Wilson. And I predict they will easily run away with this contest.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out


  3. Welcome to the wacky bunch! My apologies for missing your last battle. I saw Stephen mention it in his battle, but I wasn’t on my laptop at the time… and then promptly forgot. So today when he mentioned your joining again, I got off my phone and fired up the old laptop and got you added to my list.

    I’ve always liked this song, and while I enjoyed Pearl Jam’s version, Frank Wilson’s stays with me the longest. Give my vote to Frank and co,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mary!
      Thanks for the welcome 😉 Good to be one of the bunch.
      It seems J. Frank and co. certainly got the most airplay over the years. Looks like Vedder’s taste in oldies might not save the day this time…
      A thoughtful vote for J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers!


  4. dIEDRE ~

    I’m not sure if I’d heard this song before. Maybe. I know A LOT of those 1950s & early-’60s Rock ‘N’ Roll / Pop songs, but a lot of them sound very similar to me.

    But, anyway, I liked the J. FRANK WILSON & THE CAVALIERS version; very reminiscent of that early ’60s sound. Reminds me of the great movie ‘American Graffiti’ (I has the musical soundtrack).

    Considering that I have never liked the singing of Eddie Vedder, the Pearl Jam rendition was better’n I had expected it to be, but I still definitely prefer that Cavaliers sound.

    My brother, Judge Al Bondigas, listened to your Battle also and he too preferred the older version (I knew he would!) So we have two votes here to drop into the J. Frank Wilson pot.

    Whoa! I sure hope some wonderful soul comes along here to save you from a shutout. Right now, Vedder is in a jam (and it ain’t too pearly!)

    ~ D-FensDogG


    1. Hi there, Stephen T!

      Good to see ya! Now I want to see American Graffiti again.
      Funny fact: Last Kiss was the first time I ever heard of Eddie Vedder – or Pearl Jam
      Two votes for J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers!
      I’m going to need more than one wonderful soul…


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