Four albums on two cds taken from the height of rockabilly country queen, Wanda Jackson’s career. Despite it seeing periods when she was deeply into gospel and in part country music it has always been of the former her fans in Europe especially associate her.
A recent visitor to this country, Oklahoma-born and part raised (she also spent some time in California) Jackson was raised on the music of Tex Williams, Spade Cooley and Bob Willis among others won herself a record deal through opening for Capitol recording act Hank Thompson and his band, The Brazos Valley Boys. After an initial, short spell on Decca it was under the wing of Capitol's Ken Nelson Jackson she became established and in 1956 chart with ‘I Gotta Know’ (that has since been covered by among others, Rosie Flores), the same year Wanda toured with Elvis Presley.
The albums Day Dreamin’ (1958), Rockin’ With Wanda (1960), There’s A Party Goin’ On (1961) and Right Or Wrong (1961) are split between country and rock‘n’roll tinged with a little r&b. Though her voice on the harder rock‘n’roll entries can be a little ragged (as was a lot of early rock‘n’roll songs) it does lend a variation and edge I wouldn’t want to be without. She certainly could cut it and it wasn’t all down to her hit ‘There’s A Party Goin’ On’ or ‘Fujiyama Mama’. For her covers of the likes of ‘Long Tall Sally’, ‘Money Honey’, Charlie Rich’s ‘Lonely Weekend’ and the superb ‘You’re The One For Me’ are all top class. She had taste and her music and those playing with her were well capable of coming through with a feisty sound.
On listening to some material as was the case during the period both in country and rock‘n’roll one song like with her hit ‘I Gotta Know’ could have a sequel. As in ‘I Wanna Waltz’ (Blackmon) and they are both wonderful. Others of note include ‘Tongue Tied’, Stonewall Jackson’s ‘Why I’m Walkin’, the George Jones gem ‘Window Up Above’ (I recall Hank Williams Jr doing a fine version early in his career) and of course, her biggest country hit ‘Right Or Wrong’ (written by her and not to be confused with Bob Wills song). Such is the electric guitar work and tone of the music it is little wonder teenagers and those older were electrified by her early work; some so much so they went on to perform rock‘n’roll music like her.
Add a Comment