Wanda Jackson, The Party Ain’t Over

Wanda Jackson
Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Many years ago, I used to listen to this great roots rock radio show on KXCI community radio in Tucson, Arizona.It was my first introduction to rockabilly, and was opportune, since there were a couple of good local rockabilly groups in Tucson at the time, including Al Foul (then accompanied by The Shakes).


A few years ago, my husband and I  bought a boxed CD set called Rockin Bones: 1950s Punk and Rockabilly.  I love this collection.  Among other gems, it includes Fujiyama Mama by Wanda Jackson.  She has an amazing, startling voice.  It’s like what Elvis would sound like if he had been a pissed-off woman with a pack-a-day habit and a hangover.  She doesn’t sing — she attacks a lyric, wrestles it to the ground and then stomps on it and grinds your face in it.  But in a good way.

It turns out that Wanda Jackson (who toured with and dated young Elvis for a while), is still alive.  And she still sings.  And she just released a new album, produced by Jack White (just like that Loretta Lynn album for a few years back).  I was vaguely listening to the radio without really paying attention a few days ago, when I heard that unmistakable growly, aggressive, smokin’ hot voice on the radio.  I was startled into paying attention to the story — happily so, since I learned about that new album.

The Party Ain’t Over is fantastic, overflowing with the fire, passion and pure rock-and-roll self-assurance that characterizes her older music.  It’s great fun — I recommend it.

Posted on January 29th, 2011 by Katxena