Monday, August 23, 2010

Wanda Jackson - Funnel Of Love - Capital, 1961

Wanda Jackson! A true legend. Her website dubs her "the First Lady of Rockabilly and America's first female Rock and Roll singer" - and it's true. Wanda, born October 20, 1937, has been rockin' since the 50's, and she's still going strong! In fact she's playing here in Williamsburg at the Knitting Factory soon (click here for details). I was lucky enough to catch her there this past winter and she was amazing, so I highly recommend you catch her if you can.
While on stage she shared some stories of touring with Elvis, who it is said encouraged her to take up the Rockabilly style. She also got to work with greats like pianist Big Al Downing and guitarists Roy Clark and Buck Owens. After going a more country route starting in the 60's, some European interest in Rockabilly got her touring the Rockabilly circuit again in the 80s.  (Side note: notice the Brits are way more into good older American music than Americans?) Wanda Jackson is a member of the Rock and Roll as well as the Rockabilly halls of fame.
Blurry iPhone pic of Wanda's Knitting Factory performance, Winter 2010
This is one of the first 45s I bought when I started getting 7" crazy. While it's not as upbeat as something like "Let's Have A Party" or "Fujiyama Mama" (a big hit in Japan despite concerns about it's references to the atomic bomb), Wanda's powerful voice and it's unique melancholy-weird vibe really makes this perhaps my favorite in her catalog. Maybe that's why it's been covered by Southern Culture on the Skids, Mike Ness, Demented Are Go, Meat Puppets and The Fall.
 Johnny Mercer first suggested the idea of starting Capital Records while he was golfing with Harold Arlen and Bobby Sherwood saying, "I think it would be fun." The rest is, as they say, history - Capital Records is now one of the big boys.
Here's a link to an MP3 download from the Amazon site.  Unfortunately, I think this might be an "album only" download: Funnel Of Love
And now, the clip!

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