(BMG, 2017) Roctober
got to meet and speak with Wanda a number of times and she is a delight and a good storyteller, but I had no grand hopes for this book, expecting possibly the co-writer taking over and leaving Wanda voiceless, or thinking her religious views (she went Gospel for a long stretch before the rockabilly revival beckoned her back with open pompadours) might make for sanitized revisionism. But none of that happened. This is a gifted woman with a long, twisting career that was always close enough to the big time to keep it interesting and far enough to keep her story kinda unknown and tenacious enough that she kept working and doing fascinating things over and over and over, making for a compelling read. Her drive to become a working musician as a very young girl; her vision to become a rock n roll pioneer (with a pretty good understanding of the carnal qualities of driving, growling music, even if she does not put it in those exact words); her parallel careers in mainstream Country and rockabilly; her meticulous fashion sense; her pivots to sacred music, Japanese cult stardom, and Jack White; and her honest breakdowns of the economics of rock n roll make this one of the most enjoyable rock reads. Wanda Jackson is one of the best we have ever had and I am so glad she got around to sharing her story.
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