Sunday, October 31, 2021

Wanda Jackson - The Capitol Singles 1956-1973 & Rarities (2020)

by request

Wanda Jackson enjoyed a long and successful career singing country and gospel material, but her most ardent fans celebrate her as the Queen of Rockabilly, one of the first women who found fame singing rock & roll and among the most powerful voices the music ever produced. Jackson sang with a passion, fire, and spirit that set her apart from most female vocalists of the day, and tunes like "Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad," "Fujiyama Mama," and "Let's Have a Party" showed she was as forceful as any of rock & roll's male stars. She would enjoy more lasting success when she shifted to country sounds in the early 1960s, and her C&W and later gospel sides would reveal a warmth and emotional depth that left no doubt she was a major talent. 

1960's Rockin' with Wanda! is a superb set of rockabilly and early rock performances, 2006's The Very Best of the Country Years is a well-curated sampling of her C&W period, 1972's Praise the Lord was one of the first and strongest of her spiritual efforts, and 2021's Encore showed that she was still full of fire at the age of 83.

Wanda Jackson was born in Maud, Oklahoma on October 20, 1937. Her father Tom -- himself a country singer who quit when the Depression derailed his career -- moved the family to California in 1941. He bought Wanda her first guitar two years later, gave her lessons, and encouraged her to play piano as well. In addition, Tom took her to see such acts as Tex Williams, Spade Cooley, and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression on her young mind. Tom moved the family back to Oklahoma City when his daughter was 12 years old. In 1952, she won a local talent contest and was given a 15-minute daily show on KLPR. The program, soon upped to 30 minutes, lasted throughout Jackson's teenage years. She was only halfway through high school when, in 1954, country singer Hank Thompson heard her on an Oklahoma City radio show and asked her to record with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. Jackson recorded several songs with the combo, including "You Can't Have My Love," a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song, on the Decca label, became a national hit, and Jackson's career was off and running. She had wanted to sign with Capitol, Thompson's label, but was turned down, so she signed with Decca instead.

Jackson insisted on finishing high school before hitting the road, and when she did, her father came with her. Her mother sewed and helped design her stage outfits, and she would later say, "I was the first one to put some glamour in the country music -- fringe dresses, high heels, long earrings." When Jackson began touring in earnest in 1955 and 1956, she was placed on a bill with Elvis Presley, and the two hit it off almost immediately. Jackson said it was Presley, along with her father, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly; she and Elvis also dated for a while, and it's said that he asked her to marry him, but she turned him down.

In 1956, Jackson finally signed with Capitol, a relationship that lasted until the early '70s. Her recording career bounced back and forth between country and rockabilly; she did this by often putting one song in each style on either side of a single. Jackson cut the rockabilly hit "Fujiyama Mama" in 1958, which became a major success in Japan. Her version of "Let's Have a Party," which Elvis had cut earlier, was a U.S. Top 40 pop hit for her in 1960, after which she began calling her band the Party Timers. A year later, she was back in the country Top Ten with "Right or Wrong" and "In the Middle of a Heartache." In 1965, she topped the German charts with "Santa Domingo," sung in German. In 1966, she hit the U.S. Top 20 with "The Box It Came In" and "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine." Her popularity continued through the end of the decade.

Jackson toured regularly, was twice nominated for a Grammy, and was a major attraction in Las Vegas from the mid-'50s into the '70s. She married IBM programmer Wendell Goodman in 1961, and instead of quitting the business -- as many female singers had done at the time -- Goodman gave up his job in order to manage his wife's career. He also packaged her syndicated TV show, Music Village. In 1971, Jackson and her husband became Christians, which she says guided their marriage through a rough patch. She released her first gospel album, 1972's Praise the Lord, on Capitol before shifting to the Christian-oriented Myrrh label for three more spiritual albums. In 1977, she switched labels again, this time to another gospel imprint, Word Records, and released two more Christian-themed LPs.

In the early '80s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play rockabilly and country festivals, where plenty of early rock artists found enthusiastic audiences still eager to hear their 1950s hits. Jackson's performances were well received by her fans, and she began playing regularly in Europe and the United Kingdom while still performing her gospel show in the United States. Around the same time, several American country artists, including Pam Tillis, Jann Browne, and Rosie Flores, acknowledged Jackson as a major influence. In 1995, Flores released a rockabilly album, Rockabilly Filly, and invited Jackson, her longtime idol, to sing two duets with her. Jackson embarked on a major U.S. tour with Flores later that year; it was her first secular tour in the United States since the '70s, and put her back into nightclubs. 2003's Live and Still Kickin' documented a pair of 2002 shows in New York City with the revitalized Jackson back in the spotlight. 2003 also saw the release of a new studio album, Heart Trouble, with Jackson joined in the studio by illustrious fans including Elvis Costello, Dave Alvin, and the Cramps. 2006's I Remember Elvis found her interpreting a set of songs made famous by her old friend, as well as sharing her memories of him.

Jackson returned to the studio in 2010 to begin work on an album produced by Jack White. Featuring a band including the White Stripes frontman, his wife Karen Elson, various Raconteurs, My Morning Jacket's Carl Broemel, and a host of others, The Party Ain't Over arrived in early 2011. Jackson's 31st studio album, 2012's Unfinished Business, was produced by Justin Townes Earle and featured original material as well as covers of songs by Woody Guthrie, Etta James, Bobby Womack, and others. Another groundbreaking female rocker, Joan Jett, paid her own tribute to Jackson by producing 2021's Encore, which featured several new songs written by Jackson, as well as a cover of the Johnny Tillotson classic "It Keeps Right on A-Hurtin'."

Jackson began performing as a child and later had her own radio show in Oklahoma City. She was then discovered by country singer Hank Thompson, who helped her secure a recording contract with Decca Records in 1954. At Decca, Jackson had her first hit single with the country song "You Can't Have My Love". She then began touring the following year with Elvis Presley. The two briefly dated and Presley encouraged her to record in the Rockabilly style. In 1956, Jackson signed with Capitol Records where she was given full permission to record both country and Rockabilly. The label released a string of Jackson's rock singles, including "Fujiyama Mama", "Mean Mean Man" and the top 40 hit "Let's Have a Party"....

Wanda Jackson - The Capitol Singles 1956-1973

The Capitol Singles 1956-1958

01. Wanda Jackson - (Every Time They Play) Our Song         
02. Wanda Jackson - Baby Loves Him                          
03. Wanda Jackson - Cryin' Thru The Night                   
04. Wanda Jackson - Did You Miss Me                         
05. Wanda Jackson - Don'a Wan'a                             
06. Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama                           
07. Wanda Jackson - Half As Good A Girl                     
08. Wanda Jackson - Honey Bop                               
09. Wanda Jackson - Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad              
10. Wanda Jackson - I Gotta Know                            
11. Wanda Jackson - Just A Queen For A Day                  
12. Wanda Jackson - Let Me Explain                          
13. Wanda Jackson - No Wedding Bells For Joe                
14. Wanda Jackson - Rock Your Baby                          
15. Wanda Jackson - Silver Threads And Golden Needles       
16. Wanda Jackson - Sinful Heart   

The Capitol Singles 1959-1961

01. Wanda Jackson - Savin' My Love                          
02. Wanda Jackson - Right Or Wrong                          
02. Wanda Jackson - You've Turned To A Stranger             
03. Wanda Jackson - In The Middle Of A Heartache            
03. Wanda Jackson - You're The One For Me                   
04. Wanda Jackson - A Date With Jerry                       
05. Wanda Jackson - Reaching                                
06. Wanda Jackson - I'd Rather Have You                     
07. Wanda Jackson - Please Call Today                       
08. Wanda Jackson - My Destiny                              
09. Wanda Jackson - Let's Have A Party                      
10. Wanda Jackson - Cool Love                               
11. Wanda Jackson - Happy, Happy Birthday                   
11. Wanda Jackson - Mean, Mean Man                          
13. Wanda Jackson - Little Charm Bracelet                   
16. Wanda Jackson - Funnel Of Love                          
18. Wanda Jackson - I'd Be Ashamed                          
19. Wanda Jackson - A Little Bitty Tear                     
20. Wanda Jackson - I Don't Wanta Go                        
20. Wanda Jackson - Riot In Cell Block Number Nine  

The Capitol Singles 1962-1963

01. Wanda Jackson - Between The Window And The Phone        
02. Wanda Jackson - But I Was Lying                         
03. Wanda Jackson - I Misunderstood                         
04. Wanda Jackson - If I Cried Every Time You Hurt Me       
05. Wanda Jackson - Just For You                            
06. Wanda Jackson - Let Me Talk To You                      
07. Wanda Jackson - Let My Love Walk In                     
08. Wanda Jackson - Memory Mountain                         
09. Wanda Jackson - One Teardrop At A Time                  
10. Wanda Jackson - Slippin'                                
11. Wanda Jackson - Sympathy                                
12. Wanda Jackson - The Greatest Actor                      
13. Wanda Jackson - This Should Go On Forever               
14. Wanda Jackson - We Haven't A Moment To Lose             
15. Wanda Jackson - Whirlpool                               
16. Wanda Jackson - You Bug Me Bad   


The Capitol Singles 1964-1966

01. Wanda Jackson - The Violet And The Rose                 
02. Wanda Jackson - To Tell You The Truth                   
03. Wanda Jackson - I'm Mad At Me                           
04. Wanda Jackson - Leave My Baby Alone                     
05. Wanda Jackson - Weary Blues From Waitin'                
06. Wanda Jackson - Candy Man                               
07. Wanda Jackson - My Baby's Gone                          
08. Wanda Jackson - If I Were You                           
09. Wanda Jackson - Have I Grown Used To Missing You        
10. Wanda Jackson - Take Me Home                            
11. Wanda Jackson - My First Day Without You                
12. Wanda Jackson - Send Me No Roses                        
13. Wanda Jackson - The Box It Came In                      
14. Wanda Jackson - Look Out Heart                          
15. Wanda Jackson - Because It's You                        
16. Wanda Jackson - Long As I Have You                      
17. Wanda Jackson - This Gun Don't Care                     
18. Wanda Jackson - I Wonder If She Knows                   
19. Wanda Jackson - Tears Will Be The Chaser For Your Wine  
20. Wanda Jackson - Reckless Love Affair   

    The Capitol Singles 1967-1968

 01. Wanda Jackson - A Girl Don't Have To Drink To Have Fun  
02. Wanda Jackson - Both Sides Of The Line                  
03. Wanda Jackson - By The Time You Get To Phoenix          
04. Wanda Jackson - Famous Last Words                       
05. Wanda Jackson - I Talk A Pretty Story                   
06. Wanda Jackson - I Wish I Was Your Friend                
07. Wanda Jackson - Little Boy Soldier                      
08. Wanda Jackson - My Baby Walked Right Out On Me          
09. Wanda Jackson - My Days Are Darker Than Your Nights     
10. Wanda Jackson - My Heart Gets All The Breaks            
11. Wanda Jackson - No Place To Go But Home                 
12. Wanda Jackson - Poor Ole Me                             
13. Wanda Jackson - Wishing Well                            
14. Wanda Jackson - You'll Always Have My Love   

The Capitol Singles 1969-1970

01. Wanda Jackson - A Woman Lives For Love                  
02. Wanda Jackson - As The Day Wears On                     
03. Wanda Jackson - Everything's Leaving                    
04. Wanda Jackson - Fancy Satin Pillows                     
05. Wanda Jackson - If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)     
06. Wanda Jackson - My Big Iron Skillet                     
07. Wanda Jackson - Stop The World                          
08. Wanda Jackson - The Hunter                              
09. Wanda Jackson - The Pain Of It All                      
10. Wanda Jackson - Two Separate Bar Stools                 
11. Wanda Jackson - Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right           
12. Wanda Jackson - What Have We Done                       
13. Wanda Jackson - Who Shot John                           
14. Wanda Jackson - Why Don't We Love Like That Anymore     
15. Wanda Jackson - You Created Me                          
16. Wanda Jackson - Your Tender Love  

The Capitol Singles 1971-1973

  01. Wanda Jackson - Back Then                               
02. Wanda Jackson - Battle Hymn Of The Republic (Glory, Glor
03. Wanda Jackson - I Already Know (What I'm Getting For My 
04. Wanda Jackson - I Don't Know How To Tell Him            
05. Wanda Jackson - I'll Be Whatever You Say                
06. Wanda Jackson - I'm Gonna Walk Out Of Your Life         
07. Wanda Jackson - I Wouldn't Want You Any Other Way       
08. Wanda Jackson - People Gotta Be Loving                  
09. Wanda Jackson - Roll With The Tide                      
10. Wanda Jackson - Song Of The Wind                        
11. Wanda Jackson - Tennessee Women's Prison                
12. Wanda Jackson - The Man You Could Have Been             
13. Wanda Jackson - The More You See Me Less                
14. Wanda Jackson - Your Memory Comes And Gets Me   

The Capitol Rarities

01. Wanda Jackson - Before I Lose My Mind                   
02. Wanda Jackson - I Cried Again                           
03. Wanda Jackson - Ik Hou Van Jou                          
04. Wanda Jackson - In The Middle Of A Heartache            
05. Wanda Jackson - Morgen, Ja Morgen                       
06. Wanda Jackson - Oh Blacky Joe                           
07. Wanda Jackson - Santo Domingo                           
08. Wanda Jackson - Step By Step                            
09. Wanda Jackson - The Wrong Kind Of Girl                  
10. Wanda Jackson - To Tell You The Truth 




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