Wanda Jackson: Rockabilly Queen Pink Vinyl LP + CD Re Mastered

Wanda Jackson: Rockabilly Queen Pink Vinyl LP + CD Re Mastered

Label: Vip Vop
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Side One

1.       Hard Headed Woman   1961

2.       Long Tall Sally         1958

3.       Lets have a party    1958

4.       Rock your baby       1958

5.       Fujiyama mama       1957

6.       Riot in Cell Block#9     1961

7.       Did you miss me      1960

8.       Honey Bop                1958

9.       Funnel of Love         1961


Side Two

1.       Baby loves him   1957

2.       Hot Dog!  that made him mad   1956

3.       There’s a party going on  1961

4.       Cool Love    1957

5.       Mean mean man  1958

6.       Money Honey          1958

7.       I’d be ashamed      1961

8.       Tongue tied    1961


9.       I Gotta Know 1956

Pioneering exemplar of rousing rockabilly, it’s no wonder Wanda Jackson was cited as an influence by The Cramp’s Ivy Rorschach. Though Jackson made her debut as a country artiste, it was Elvis Presley, whom she briefly dated that sparked Wanda’s rock n’ roll flame.  Presley gave her both a diamond studded ring and creative encouragement as Jackson told journalist Marc Myers… ‘He (Presley) gave me what I needed, the courage to try his style. So I began singing his way – freer, with more teenage attitude and that vocal hiccup.’ Resplendent in high heels, drop earrings and fringed dresses designed by her mamma, Jackson brought an unprecedented glamour to the Rockabilly stage that accented the often lively lyrical contents of her best known numbers; ‘Pass the dynamite, Molly’ she purrs on a femme fuelled version of ‘Riot in Cell Block Number 9.’ Despite Capitol Records producer Ken Nelson initially passing on Wanda because ‘Girls Don’t Sell Records’ Jackson notched up a string of hits in the US, from the mid-1950’s onwards.  Delivered in a high-octane husk, her tunes are peppered with explosive references and none more so than on ‘Fujiyama Mama’ in which she trills; ‘I drink a quart of sakey smoke dynamite/I chase it with tobaccy and then shoot out the light.’ Needless to say, it reached number one in Japan. Meanwhile, ‘Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad’ reveals Jackson taunting a lacklustre beau by dating his best friend. A multi-talented musician, WJ has a deft, often garrulous guitar technique that did the talking when she stopped singing but the number that plucked Ivy Rorschach’s strings was the mock- exotica of ‘Funnel of Love.’ Written by Charlie McCoy and Kent Westberry, and recorded by Jackson in 1961, this extraordinary song defies classification with its kitsch Arabian Nights style riff and far gone lyrics. Guess that old ‘Sakey Smoke’ was still working its lurid spell. As a counter-point, 1961 also saw the release of ‘Hard Headed Woman’ which features Wanda back in command of her senses but the new decade was coming down fast. Still, Jackson prevailed, a home-spun Delilah who stayed defiant to the last, her throaty exhortations on ‘Let’s Have a Party’, a perennial calling card from the First Lady of Rockabilly. Let’s hear it Wanda; ‘Some people like to rock, some people like to roll but moving and grooving satisfies my soul,’ as will this platter.

 Nina Antonia

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