It’s Wanda! (Ms. Jackson if You’re Nasty)

Hallelujah! At 71 years of age, rockabilly/gospel veteran Wanda Jackson, “The Sweet Lady With the Nasty Voice” has just been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ms. Jackson always reminds me a bit of Bettie Page; it’s that wonderful mixture of innocence and smoldering passion; growls with the helium giggles. Back in the 50s, the mainstream could barely handle Elvis or Ruth Brown. I imagine Jackson’s raw, wild voice must have seemed equally scandalous –if not more so– to the status quo. Hell, it’s 2009 and I still get all wiggly whenever I hear her do that little spluttery “ooohh….ahhh… I love you” bit in “Tongue Tied.”

Photo via The Age.

If you’re looking for a good introduction/overview, pick up her CD from the Vintage Collections series. Also, check out some clips after the jump, including Jackson’s recent performance of “Fujiyama Mama” at the Luminaire in London. Those spitfire pipes remain smokin’ hot, and she still looks damn fine in a fringe dress.

9 Responses to “It’s Wanda! (Ms. Jackson if You’re Nasty)”

  1. David Forbes Says:

    Oh my god yes!

    This is a long overdue honor, and Jackson remains plain out rockin’ awesome.

    Great post, Mer.

    Though I do have to add my personal favorite.

  2. Tequila Says:

    In contrast to many female singers of the time she feels like getting shot with rock salt. It kinda stings at first cause one expects the usual of a smooth sound and gentle tone…but then you like the sting and come to want it again and again.

    She has that fire to her usually left to the male side of the scene. My kinda gal through and through…

    Thanks for the post, been a while since I went through her songs to be honest. That first vid is a pure gem!

  3. karenbcrazy Says:

    I was beyond lucky to see her perform about 3 years ago at the Hootenanny in Orange County. She is just as amazing today as then and I can’t wait to see her induction this year.

    Plus she told the crowd the guitar she was playing was specially made for her and Dolly Parton…if you get my drift. ;)

  4. Jerem Morrow Says:

    Mer: RAWR!!! Hells bells yes! Daddy likey.

    Forbes: Rockabilly shindig in Charlotte. Mid june. Road trip.

  5. ArtistByDay Says:

    It’s about time she got that recognition; well deserved!
    I barely “discovered” Wanda Jackson about 3 years ago- “The Queen of Rockabilly” compilation is one of the best CDs I’ve bought in recent years. I instantly fell in love with that voice that alternates between sweetly innocent, to hard rockin’ gravel-raspy enough to blast any boring paint off the walls. (Depending on the song, it hard not to get riled up wanting to dance, or swoon, or both). Besides the songs already mentioned here, I think her “Long Tall Sally” cover also flat out rawks. I only wish she recorded more songs from her rock and roll years.

  6. Thews Says:

    Tour dates, check it out

  7. Miss Jess Says:

    Some of my friends (3 sisters) are kin to Wanda, so she’s been kind enough to grace my town with her presence several times due to those family ties. She’s still amazing, and every time I’ve seen her she’s brought IT. What a lady. What a voice. Congrats on the RRHF induction Ms. Jackson!

  8. Kale Kip Says:

    Wow, I didn’t know any of this. This is so cool! Loved that personal favorite of David as well.

  9. moonchild Says:

    I was ecstatic to capture her performance last year. I saw Connie Francis in the past and it was sadly disappointing live despite her legendary contribution to music. Wanda Jackson literally rocks your socks off when she performs! She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside Metallica this year! If you’re in Montreal or close to it hehe, she will be performing next month at the Red Hot and Blue Rockabilly Weekender:)