The Good, the Bad, and the Dead

Wayne Cochrane might have penned The Last Kiss, and Pearl Jam might have proved its camp essence, but the big hit was from 1964, by J. Frank Wilson. I remember this time vividly as it was the first summer I was sick with what became known as Crohns Disease.

I had been sick for several months, losing weight and unable to keep any nourishment in me when it was determined that I needed to go to the hospital for tests and observation So, on the way to Monterey and the family’s summer vacation, they dropped me off at the hospital and went on their merry way.

I got my summer solace first, not being around them, second with books, and third with my transistor radio which blared Ferry Cross the Mersey, and Bits and Pieces chunks of Brit Pop, but also the maudlin Wilson song.

The Last Kiss, however, belongs to a strange genre of pop song known as death songs. Some of the more prominant?

  1. Teen Angel, Mark Dinning (1960): When I was in third grade (also 1960) our classmate, Don DeVincenzi’s sister died in a local accident just like this.
  2. Patches, Dickey Lee (1962): Evolved into Poor Side of Town in a few years.
  3. Laurie, Dickey Lee (1965): Lee clearly had some kind of necrophilia thing going on.
  4. Tell Laura I Love Her, Ray Peterson (1960): Peterson actually had a pretty good hit with Corina, Corina.
  5. Honey, Bobby Goldsboro (1968 ): Arguably the most loved/hated of the maudlin.

There are more for sure. The links above lead to YouTube files of the originals. But, J. Frank lurks below.

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