Wanda Jackson

Let's Have a Party! The Very Best of Wanda Jackson

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Wanda Jackson may not have ended up a household name, but her musical career -- which found her releasing impressive sides in both rockabilly and country in the late '50s and early '60s before branching out mostly into gospel in the 1970s and then returning to her secular rock and country style as a touring act in the 1980s -- has been remarkably consistent in tone, approach, and energy, no matter what genre hat she happened to be wearing at the time. She was simply and clearly Wanda Jackson, and by being so, she provided a template for the female country stars with a yen for rocking and assertiveness who emerged to wide audiences in the 1980s and 1990s. This 16-track set collects some of Jackson's best tracks for Capitol Records -- she was with the label from 1956 through the early '70s -- including 1958’s “Fujiyama Mama” and 1960’s “Let’s Have a Party,” both of which are now considered rockabilly classics, and 1961’s “Right or Wrong” and “In the Middle of a Heartache,” which showed Jackson was very much a country singer, too. This makes a nice introduction to Jackson’s peak commercial years.

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