I Remember Elvis

I Remember Elvis

by Wanda Jackson
     
 

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In 1955, Wanda Jackson was already making an impression on country fans in her native Oklahoma, as part of Hank Thompson's band, when she crossed paths with a fast-rising Elvis Presley. Counseled by the future King to go rockabilly, Jackson went on to make an important contribution as a seminal female member of rock 'n' roll's first…  See more details below

Overview

In 1955, Wanda Jackson was already making an impression on country fans in her native Oklahoma, as part of Hank Thompson's band, when she crossed paths with a fast-rising Elvis Presley. Counseled by the future King to go rockabilly, Jackson went on to make an important contribution as a seminal female member of rock 'n' roll's first generation with her raucous hit "Fujiyama Mama" and a wild-eyed treatment of Elvis's "Party" ("Havin' a Party" as it was retitled in Jackson's version). In addition, a bit of a romance ensued between the two, and Elvis gave her a ring to wear around her neck -- immortalized here in a new song, Robert Warren's hard-bopping "I Wore Elvis' Ring." Though their paths diverged forever with Jackson's 1961 marriage (to Wendell Goodman, still her husband and also her manager), the archetypal rock 'n' roll gal has never discounted her former flame's influence on her life and music. Now she's paying off her debt in a more pronounced way with a vibrant set of covers of early Elvis songs, mostly from the Sun era. Backed by a tight, driving quartet that includes Blondie's redoubtable Clem Burke on drums and features some righteously twangy lead guitar work from producer Danny B. Harvey, Jackson roars through Elvis-style rockabilly arrangements of "Good Rockin' Tonight," "Blue Moon of Kentucky," "Baby, Let's Play House," and other incendiary tunes, and leavens those with some beautiful country ballad readings on "Give Me the Right" and "Love Me Tender." Her voice is a bit weathered, of course, but its tunefulness, soulfulness, and conviction remain undiminished and ever captivating.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Wanda Jackson was a mere 16 years old when she cut her first single, but while she was a better than average country crooner from the start, it wasn't until the summer of 1956 that Jackson began to sing like the force of nature now recognized as the first great female rocker. A few things happened to Jackson during that two-year stretch between her recorded debut and her shift into high gear, and one of them was meeting Elvis Presley, who was still recording for Sun when she first played a show with him on July 20, 1955. Jackson generously acknowledges that Elvis taught her how to bring out her inner rock & roller, and they were close friends for years (and for a little while boyfriend and girlfriend). On this album, Jackson pays homage to the Hillbilly Cat by covering 13 songs associated with Elvis, most dating from his days at Sun or from the early years of his tenure with RCA, along with one new song, "I Wore Elvis' Ring," and two spoken word cuts in which she shares her memories of Presley. For the most part, the production and arrangements are in the classic rockabilly mode, with guitarist and producer Danny B. Harvey, drummer Clem Burke, and veteran pianist Don Randi playing with skill and high style without getting in the way of the star of the show, and while Jackson's voice has started to show some slight signs of wear, she dives into these tunes with audible enthusiasm and a great feel for the material. Jackson brings her own style and personality to these songs, no small accomplishment, and while her phrasing leans toward the honky tonk material that dominated the greatest part of her career, her performances reveal what she learned from Elvis as well as what she found in her own musical personality when she embraced the joys of rock & roll. I Remember Elvis is something short of revelatory, but it is a sincere and loving tribute to an influential artist from someone who learned from him first-hand, and it proves that Jackson is still the Queen of Rock & Roll just as much as Elvis remains the King. Fine stuff.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/31/2006
Label:
Cleopatra
UPC:
0741157156829
catalogNumber:
1568

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Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wanda Jackson   Primary Artist,Vocals
Don Randi   Piano
Racer X   Standup Bass
Clem Burke   Drums
Danny B. Harvey   Guitar,Background Vocals
John Would   Lap Steel Guitar
Lynda Kay Parker   Background Vocals
Razor   Upright Bass

Technical Credits

Elvis Costello   Liner Notes
Gilby Clarke   Engineer
Danny B. Harvey   Producer,Audio Production
Junior Parker   Composer
Charlie Singleton   Composer
Sam Phillips   Composer
John Would   Engineer
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer

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