Hello, kittens & dawgs! Music is what makes my heart beat, but then you already know this with two weekly posts dedicated to tunes. That being said, I’m happy to announce my first-time participation in the BATTLE OF THE BANDS (BOTB) fun. Let the battle begin!
According to Wikipedia, James Lafayette Tarver’s inspiration to write Last Kiss came after his daughter Carol Ann died in a train/car collision in Grand Prairie, Texas on June 25, 1961. Later in ’61 Wayne Cochran recorded the song, but it didn’t do well on the charts.
Last Kiss got noticed by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers record promoter, Sonley Roush. He wanted the band to do it as a cover. Ironically, on a concert trip to Ohio, the band’s car collided with a truck, killing Roush and severely injuring Wilson. Last Kiss released in June 1964 as a cover album, by October it made it to the Top 10 and eventually ranking #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 list earning the group a gold record.
I was born the year Cochran released the original, but honestly, I’m not sure if I remember the 60s or the 70s version re-released by the Canadian band Wednesday (a.k.a. Wenzday) in 1974. The remake of Last Kiss spent 5-weeks on the U.S. Billboards Hot 100 chart, peaking at #34 and the single reached #2 in Canada.
Oldies never die they just get a do-over, right? That’s precisely what happened in 1999. Honestly, I don’t even remember it coming out, but it did by Pearl Jam in 1999. It did better than the bands’ predecessor reaching the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #2. This rendition did not impress me. What do you think?
Although, I can’t recall with certainty which artist I listened to the most as a kid. However, if I had to guess I think it was J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers and I side by this decision as the best version of Last Kiss.
Okay, here’s what you do to vote. In my comments section, tell me which band you like the best and why. After you’re done, then why not see what other BOTB participants (see below) are sharing.