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Last Kiss (Original Cavaliers of J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers fame) Rudy Mata

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Uploaded on Aug 10, 2008

Bulletin: Rudy Mata, vocalist for this video and lead singer of the Cavaliers was shot to death on September 26, 2012, apparently by his son-in-law. Below is the statement by my brother, Sid Holmes (founder and lead guitarist for the original Cavaliers):
On September 26th 2012 Rudy Mata (vocalist) with The Cavaliers was shot and killed by his son-in-law David Mathew Merrill (34) of Arlington, Texas. Rudy, being a peace maker and unarmed, had knocked on Merrill's apartment door. Rudy was there to question him about some missing family money and when Merrill opened the door he began shooting hitting Rudy 3 times. Rudy was a great person and singer with no ego. Plans had been made to present Rudy with a plaque when this video reached 100,000 hits.
Read the history of the band in Sid's book: Rockabilly Heaven: untold story of the Cavaliers 1956-1964. There is a ton of history, many photos of Rudy and a CD featuring some great vocals by Rudy. It is listed on Ebay. His obituary is at the end.
Several bands claim to be the original Cavaliers that featured J. Frank Wilson in the early 60's but only one is the real thing. Led by founding member Sid Holmes (guitar). "Last Kiss 2008" features Rudy Mata (vocals) Neil Sheckels (bass) Gary Holmes (drums) Jerry Matheny (guitar) Sid Holmes (guitar), Kevin Bailey (backing vocals).
KENNEDALE, Texas -- Rudy Mata left this world for a far better and more beautiful place on September 25 2012.
Rosary and Memorial Service: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, September 29, at Emerald Hills Memorial Chapel, Kennedale. He was preceded in death by his father Joe, mother Betty, brother Greg and sister Francis.
He was born in El Paso, Texas on March 15 1956 to Joe and Betty Sue Mata. He graduated from Alamogordo High school in 1974. Worked for Stegmeier, LLC where he was a long term employee. He lived a life of great faith and worked passionately for his friends and family. Rudy loved to sing and was a member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic Church Choir for many years.Rudy was a member of The Arlington Choral Society and Touch of Class. His many musical accomplishments were, 1994 Wylie Opry New Look Vocalist, Burleson Jamboree First Place talent contest, BCMA Entertainer and Male Vocalist of the year. In 1995 he received Male vocalist and Male Vocalist of the Year from Burleson Jamboree. In 1996 he received Terry Awards Male Vocalist of the Year, Grapevine Opry Male Vocalist of the Year. In 1997, he received Grapevine Opry Entertainer of the year and Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2000 he received Grapevine Opry Favorite Duet group of the year. Since then, Rudy has sung with Flipside, The Blue Beats, Southern Justice, Cavaliers, and most currently The Hi Rollers. His fans are based all over the United States. His voice and songs were notorious for their ability to change even the most sorrowful moods. He was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice and his family knows he now sings with the heavenly choir of angels. He was helpful to everyone and never knew a stranger. His laughter and wonderful personality could fill a room and people were drawn to his amicable personality and wonderful demeanor. He was a wonderful father, grandfather, and husband. He will be missed terribly.
Survivors: wife Sandy, son Timothy and wife Jennifer, two daughters Trisha and Brittany, grandchildren Alex, Madelyn and Logan, his sister Sandy Hill, his father-in-law Ray Wiora, mother-in-law Diane McMahon and husband Norm, Dennis and Diana McMahon, siblings-in-law Susan and Michael Beane, Steve and Michelle Wiora, Shawn and Neena Wiora, Shane and Judith McMahon, Shelia Wiora and many nieces and nephews who will miss him dearly. Rudy was also blessed with countless close and wonderful friends.

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