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Monday, January 31, 2011

Ms. Wanda Jackson...Part 1

The fabulous Ms. Wanda Jackson..........

Her site: (a nice one)

Wanda Lavonne Jackson (born October 20, 1937) is an American singer and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 60s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers and something of a pioneering rock and roll artist. She is known to many as the Queen (or First Lady) of Rockabilly.
Jackson mixed country music with fast-moving rockabilly, often recording them on opposite sides of a record.  As rockabilly declined in popularity in the mid-1960s, she moved to a successful career in mainstream country music with a string of hits between 1966 and 1973, including "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine", "A Woman Lives for Love" and "Fancy Satin Pillows".

She has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity among rockabilly revivalists in Europe, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence in 2009.

Wanda Jackson was born in Maud, Oklahoma on October 20, 1937, but has lived much of her life in Oklahoma City. Her father, a musician, moved the family to California during the 1940s in hopes of a better life. Two years later, he bought Jackson a guitar and encouraged her to play. He also took her to see performances by Spade Cooley, Tex Williams and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression.   In 1948, when she was 11, the family moved back to Oklahoma. In 1956, she won a talent contest which led to her own radio program, soon extended by 30 minutes.

Jackson began her professional career while still attending Capitol Hill High School in 
Oklahoma City after being discovered by Hank Thompson in 1954, who heard her singing on local station KLPR-AM and invited her to perform with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. She recorded a few songs on their label, Capitol Records, including "You Can't Have My Love", a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song was released as a single in 1954 and reached No. 8 on the country chart. Jackson asked Capitol to sign her, but was turned down by producer Ken Nelson who told her, "Girls don't sell records." Instead, she signed with Decca Records.

After graduating from high school, Jackson began to tour with her father as manager and chaperon. She often shared the bill with Elvis Presley, who encouraged Jackson to sing rockabilly. She was a cast member of ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Missouri from 1955–1960, and in 1956 she signed with Capitol, recording a number of singles mixing country with rock and roll. "I Gotta Know", released in 1956, peaked at No. 15.

During the 1950s, Jackson's stage outfits were often designed by her mother. Unlike traditional clothing worn by female country music singers of the time, she wore fringe dresses, high heels and long earrings; and has claimed she was the first female to put "glamor into country music."

She continued to record more rockabilly singles through the decade with producer Ken Nelson. Jackson insisted that Nelson make her records sound like those of label mates Gene Vincent and The Blue Caps. Nelson brought in many experienced and popular session players, including rock and roll pianist Merill Moore and the then unknown Buck Owens. With a unique vocal style and upbeat material, Jackson created some of the most influential rock and roll music of the time.

In the late 1950s, Jackson recorded and released a number of rockabilly songs, including "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad," "Mean, Mean Man," "Fujiyama Mama" (which hit No. 1 in Japan) and "Honey Bop." The songs, however, were only regional hits. She toured Japan in February and March 1959.

In 1959, Jackson had a Top 40 pop hit with "Let's Have A Party", a song Presley had cut a year earlier.  She was headlining concerts with her own band, which she dubbed The Party Timers. Prominently featured were pianist Big Al Downing and guitarist Roy Clark, virtually unknown at the time.  Her country music career also began to take off with the self-penned "Right Or Wrong", a No. 9 hit, and "In The Middle Of A Heartache", which peaked at No. 6. Both songs also enjoyed top 40 pop success. 

The unexpected success of her records led Capitol to release a number of albums composed of her 1950s material, including 1960's Rockin' with Wanda and There's a Party Goin' On, which included "Tongue Tied" and "Riot in the Cell Block #9". Her 1961 and 1962 albums, Right or Wrong and Wonderful Wanda, featured her two top ten country hits from 1961. In 1963, Jackson recorded a final album titled Two Sides of Wanda, which included both rock and roll and country music, including a cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On". The album earned Jackson her first Grammy nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance.

In 1965, Jackson made the move to country music as rockabilly declined in popularity, and had a string of Top 40 hits during the next ten years. In 1966, she released two singles that peaked in the country top 20, "Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine" and "The Box It Came In".

In early 1965, Jackson was invited by Capitol Records's German distribution partner, Electrola, to record in German. Jackson's German language debut single, Santo Domingo (b/w Morgen, ja morgen), recorded at Electrola's studios in Cologne, peaked at No. 5 on the official German charts and at No. 1 on the charts of Germany's most influential teen magazine, Bravo. In the first months following the chart success of Santo Domingo, Jackson also re-recorded some of her German songs in Dutch and Japanese. The success of Santo Domingo prompted the recording of eight further German language singles until 1968, which were also released on an album, Made in Germany. A last German single was recorded in 1970.

In 1967, she recorded two albums, and released a string of singles during the next few years that often asserted a fiery and violent persona, including 1969's "My Big Iron Skillet", a top 20 hit which threatened death or assault for cheating on a spouse. In 1970 and 1971, she had her final top 20 country hits with "A Woman Lives For Love" (her second Grammy nomination) and "Fancy Satin Pillows". Jackson was a premier attraction in Las Vegas. She followed Kitty Wells lead as only the second country female vocalist to have her own syndicated television show, Music Village, from 1967–68.

In the early 1970s, at her children's request, Jackson and her husband began to regularly attend church and discovered Christianity. She began recording gospel songs and albums, including 1972's Praise the Lord on Capitol. After Capitol dropped her, she recorded a number of albums for small religious labels and set up evangelical church tours with her husband across the country. Jackson wanted to record a mix of country and gospel music for her albums; however, religious labels were not interested.

In the early 1980s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play and record rockabilly material when revivalists sought her out. She regularly toured Scandinavia, England, and Germany during the decade; and influenced country artists including Pam Tillis, Jann Browne and Rosie Flores.  In 1995, she sang two duets with Flores on her 1995 album, Rockabilly Filly, and then embarked on a United States tour with her, her first American tour since the 1970s.

In 2001, she played at the Rockabilly Festival in Jackson, Tennessee with Narvel Felts and Billy Haley and His Comets. Her backup band was The Cadillac Angels (Tony Balbino, Mickey Chihuahua and Anders Stone). Despite her age, Jackson continued touring. She was No. 35 on CMT's 2002 special, The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music.
In 2003, Jackson released her first studio album since the 1980s, Heart Trouble on CMH Records. The 16-track album included guest appearances by Elvis Costello, The Cramps and Rosie Flores. In 2005, singer Amy LaVere portrayed a young Jackson in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line.

On October 28, 2008, Jackson returned to England for an appearance at the London Rock 'n' Roll Festival with Jerry Lee Lewis and Linda Gail Lewis at the London Forum.

In 2009, it was announced that Jackson would start work on new recordings with Jack White. The resulting album, The Party Ain't Over, was released on January 25, 2011. It included a cover of the Bob Dylan rockabilly song, "Thunder on the Mountain".

Jackson performed at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas in 2010 with her new backing band, Oklahoma-based alt-country band The Green Corn Revival.

 On July 25, 2010 Jackson's song, "Funnel of Love" was featured as the music to the ending credits to the HBO program Entourage (season 7, episode 4).

Jackson appeared on the BBC's Hootenanny on December 31, 2010, performing with Jools Holland and his orchestra. She covered Amy Winehouse's "You Know I'm No Good" as well as performing some of her own songs. On January 20, 2011, she performed with Jack White on The Late Show With David Letterman and again on January 25th, 2011, on Conan.

In 1955, Jackson briefly dated Elvis Presley while on tour with him. She married former IBM programmer Wendell Goodman in 1961, who has been, and continues to serve as, her manager. The couple have two children. She currently lives in Oklahoma City.

Jackson is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Music and Oklahoma Country Music halls of fame, as well as the International Gospel and the German Music halls of fame.

She was nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 but was not elected. In September 2008, she was nominated for a second time; and was inducted on April 4, 2009 as an Early Influence. She was the first addition to the category in nine years.
In 2006 Alfred Publishing acknowledged her influence on young musicians by publishing The Best of Wanda Jackson: Let's Have a Party, a songbook with music and lyrics to thirteen songs associated with Jackson. It was the first songbook ever published on Jackson.
In 2009, Oklahoma City named an alley for her in the Bricktown entertainment district. "Wanda Jackson Way" was officially christened with a live performance by Jackson in her "Way" on September 30, 2009.

On September 9, 2010, she was given the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award for performance at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Jack White presented the award to her.

Jackson's "Funnel of Love" was covered by the English rock band The Fall on their 2010 album, Your Future Our Clutter, by the band The Young Veins for their 2010 album, "Take a Vacation!" as a bonus MP3 track when bought on, and by Social Distortion lead singer Mike Ness on his 1999 album Under the Influences.

And so.......without further ado......we begin Part One..........

(Every time they play) Our song
Baby loves him
Baby, baby, bye bye
Before I lose my mind
Between the window and the phone
Blues like midnight
Both sides of the line
Brown eyed handsome man
But I was lying
By the time you got to Phoenix
Candy man
Cold cold heart
Cool love
Cowboy yodel
Cryin' thru the night
Day dreaming
Did you miss me
Don'a wan'a
Don't ask me why
Don't do the things he'd do
Don't touch me
Empty arms
Fancy satin pillows
Fujiyama mama
Funnel of love
Funny how time slips away
The box it came in
The dirt behind my years

**A note: I'm going to try to cover not just her rockabilly sides, but a lot of her country, some gospel, and even some of recordings in German and Japanese on several lists. I am restricting what I am posting to mostly earlier stuff, 50's to '70s, as is my usual approach. **

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting this one together!!


  1. Fujiyama Mama and Funnel of love back to back.... don't hurt me!

    Of course you know that Wanda covered Fujiyama Mama. The original artist was this little lady.....Ha!

    And Funnel of Love...a little different sound from anything else going on in 61 huh. Don't know why it wasn't a bigger hit. Charlie McCoy was co-writer. The same Charlie McCoy who played on quite a few Bob Dylan sessions in the 60s.

  2. I don't know what's going on, but I downloaded
    this , as well as MLW part 2 normally, no problem, but MLW part1 is a no-no. Thanks for your help, greatly appreciated, but i've wasted
    enough of your time, so I'll give up and move on. Thanks again.

  3. I'll get into the list in a few days...crazy week. I love the video on Ms. Jackson's site of Thunder on the Mountain.

  4. okay I'm trying to imagine her voice in German... now in Japanese...

    I'm scared... I can imagine it...

  5. She's actually pretty good in German, not as bad as many, especially the Motown artists that sang phonetic versions of their hits. I'd say Wanda's vocals are on par with the songs that Dusty Springfield did in the language. I can't say for the ones in Japanese, as I don't know the language :)

  6. Well, Blueboy, I am really wondering about that file, now. I don't get it. I was able to download and open it yesterday. Hmmmm, tell, you what (because no, it isn't wasting my time), I will do a repost, that's not a problem. Just keep looking in the next couple of days, I will get another copy of that up. MLW's music is too good not to be available :)

  7. Johnnyc, you know that there was a post awhile back of Annisteen Allen doing Fujiyama? :)

  8. Crazy week here, too Mr. Anchovy!! Sounds like we're gonna get hit hard starting about 3pm CST. Now they're saying it could be well over 20 inches of snow :0 I've got to go join the crush and stock in a few provisions, before the blizzard. I like Wanda in the video, too, in spite of the band and Jack White's overrated

  9. what a joy to find this collection - many thanks for posting