18 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Serving as both an introduction to the music of Wanda Jackson and a near-perfect best-of for longtime fans, 1960’s Rockin’ With Wanda does an excellent job at sequencing the tougher sounding tunes that she cut between 1956 and 1959. Following the suggestion of Elvis Presley to sing more rockabilly, Jackson took to the genre with a commanding authority and wound up being a pioneer of the pomade set. Though her piano-pounding, honky-tonkin’ take on Presley’s “Let’s Have a Party” is absent here, Rockin’ With Wanda makes up for it by opening with her own “Rock Your Baby,” an equally rambunctious number that swings hard on a hillbilly backbeat. She puts switchblade sass in Earl Burrows’ “Fujiyama Mama” while injecting “Cool Love” with an unfeigned attitude – when Jackson calls somebody a “square” it’s not kitschy, it’s intimidating. Her raspy voice sounds even more amazing when coupled with some of that rockabilly reverb as heard on “Honey Bop” and by “Mean Mean Man” you have to wonder if her muse is more apprehensive than mean as a result of her brazen bite.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Serving as both an introduction to the music of Wanda Jackson and a near-perfect best-of for longtime fans, 1960’s Rockin’ With Wanda does an excellent job at sequencing the tougher sounding tunes that she cut between 1956 and 1959. Following the suggestion of Elvis Presley to sing more rockabilly, Jackson took to the genre with a commanding authority and wound up being a pioneer of the pomade set. Though her piano-pounding, honky-tonkin’ take on Presley’s “Let’s Have a Party” is absent here, Rockin’ With Wanda makes up for it by opening with her own “Rock Your Baby,” an equally rambunctious number that swings hard on a hillbilly backbeat. She puts switchblade sass in Earl Burrows’ “Fujiyama Mama” while injecting “Cool Love” with an unfeigned attitude – when Jackson calls somebody a “square” it’s not kitschy, it’s intimidating. Her raspy voice sounds even more amazing when coupled with some of that rockabilly reverb as heard on “Honey Bop” and by “Mean Mean Man” you have to wonder if her muse is more apprehensive than mean as a result of her brazen bite.

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