I’ll admit that despite having a bit of love for rockabilly, I barely had a sense of Wanda Jackson until relatively recently, probably when she was produced by Jack White back in 2011. I may have had a vague sense that she had been the original artist (almost) to record “Fujiyama Mama,” which I knew from a Pearl Harbour cover, but I didn’t follow up and look for her music, and honestly I don’t know that I ever saw it, either. Rockabilly was niche enough for used record stores in the ’80s, and the bulk of her catalog was really country and then gospel, which were usually not even carried, and weren’t sections that I would ever paw through anyway.
Her “rediscovery” by Jack White brought a lot of attention, and well-deserved, but I never bought that. As a result of it, though, I picked up a CD called “Rockin’ with Wanda,” a collection of her best rockabilly material, and it’s great.
I think I picked this up at a punk rock flea market here in Phoenixville, just a couple of years ago, for a whopping $3. (Queue Gilbert Gottfried yelling “you fool!” at the previous owner.) It’s a 10″ Sundazed release of a live 1958 Los Angeles TV show appearance by a 21-year-old Wanda Jackson, who just scorches it. I need to remember to play this more when I’m into a roots music phase, because it’s sensational.