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Classics - Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson

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Album Review

Like many other young recording artists of the late 1950s, especially those on major labels, Wanda Jackson was encouraged to straddle musical genres as a hedge against changing trends. She was an accomplished rockabilly singer, but Capitol Records must have worried about how long rockabilly was going to stay popular, so Wanda Jackson has the singer cutting tracks in several other styles — most frequently country. Her rockabilly fans may have been surprised to hear her first full-length album, which leaned more toward country and also showed off her affinity for straight pop. True, she did cover "Long Tall Sally" and "Money, Honey," and she did a particularly raucous version of "Let's Have a Party" (which surprisingly took off for the pop Top 40 two years after the album's release). But more typical of the sound of the album overall were her versions of Kitty Wells' "Making Believe" and Don Everly's "Here We Are Again," traditional country material, and she even tried her hand at Patti Page's 1954 hit "Let Me Go, Lover!," a pop ballad. Add it all up, and you had one versatile singer, able to sing convincingly anything that was thrown at her. The variety made sense at the time, even if subsequent fans may wish Jackson had rocked out a bit more.

Biography

Born: 20 October 1937 in Maud, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Wanda Jackson 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. By the end of the decade, Jackson had...
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