True Endeavors presents
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee (2009)
Third Man Records recording artist (Jack White's label)
with special guest
The Lustre Kings
Wanda Jackson was born in Oklahoma, but her father Tom himself a country singer who quit because of the Depression moved the family to California in 1941. He bought Wanda her first guitar two years later, gave her lessons, and encouraged her to play piano as well. In addition, he took her to see such acts as Tex Williams, Spade Cooley, and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression on her young mind. Tom moved the family back to Oklahoma City when his daughter was 12 years old. In 1952, she won a local talent contest and was given a 15-minute daily show on KLPR. The program, soon upped to 30 minutes, lasted throughout Jackson's high school years. It's here that Thompson heard her sing. Jackson recorded several songs with the Brazos Valley Boys, including "You Can't Have My Love," a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song, on the Decca label, became a national hit, and Jackson's career was off and running. She had wanted to sign with Capitol, Thompson's label, but was turned down due to her young age, so she signed with Decca instead.
Jackson insisted on finishing high school before hitting the road. When she did, her father became her road manager and hit the road with her. Her mother made and helped design Wanda's stage outfits. "I was the first one to put some glamour in the country music fringe dresses, high heels, long earrings," Jackson said of these outfits. When Jackson first toured in 1955 and 1956, she was placed on a bill with none other than Elvis Presley. The two hit it off almost immediately. Jackson said it was Presley, along with her father, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly.
In 1956, Jackson finally signed with Capitol, a relationship that lasted until the early '70s. Her recording career bounced back and forth between country and rockabilly; she did this by often putting one song in each style on either side of a single. Jackson cut the rockabilly hit "Fujiyama Mama" in 1958, which became a major success in Japan. Her version of "Let's Have a Party," which Elvis had cut earlier, was a U.S. Top 40 pop hit for her in 1960, after which she began calling her band the Party Timers. A year later, she was back in the country Top Ten with "Right or Wrong" and "In the Middle of a Heartache." In 1965, she topped the German charts with "Santa Domingo," sung in German. In 1966, she hit the U.S. Top 20 with "The Box It Came In" and "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine." Jackson's popularity continued through the end of the decade.
Jackson toured regularly, was twice nominated for a Grammy, and was a big attraction in Las Vegas from the mid-'50s into the '70s. She married IBM supervisor Wendell Goodman in 1961, and instead of quitting the business as many women singers had done at the time Goodman gave up his job in order to manage his wife's career. He also packaged Jackson's syndicated TV show, Music Village. In 1971, Jackson and her husband became Christians, which she says saved their marriage. She released one gospel album on Capitol in 1972, Praise the Lord, before shifting to the Myrrh label for three more gospel albums. In 1977, she switched again, this time to Word Records, and released another two.
In the early '80s, Jackson was invited to Europe to play rockabilly and country festivals and to record. She's since been back numerous times. More recently, American country artists Pam Tillis, Jann Browne, and Rosie Flores have acknowledged Jackson as a major influence. In 1995, Flores released a rockabilly album, Rockabilly Filly, and invited Jackson, her longtime idol, to sing two duets on it with her. Jackson embarked on a major U.S. tour with Flores later that year. It was her first secular tour in this country since the '70s, not to mention her first time back in a nightclub atmosphere. After releasing the critically acclaimed, "Heart Trouble", and "I Remember Elvis".. Wanda continues to tour all over the world to sold out venues.
In 2009 Wanda was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen were just a few of the high-profile artists that encouraged the Hall to induct the Queen over the last few years.
"An Atomic Bomb in Lipstick --- The Queen of Rockabilly." --Bob Dylan
THE LUSTRE KINGS
Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings play rock and roll the right way. The powerhouse Albany NY combo has wowed crowds at Manhattan's Rodeo Bar, Seattle's Tractor Tavern and all points in-between; and they've done it with uncommon fervor, commitment and flair.
The Gretsch-toting Gamsjager draws from a deeper well than most roots rock acts, giving his music a breadth and depth while still keeping the bar hopping and the dance floor filled.
In addition to their own dates, Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings have also accompanied Wanda Jackson, the Queen of Rockabilly, for over five years, and frequently work with other seasoned artists like Bill Kirchen, Eddie Angel and Robert Gordon.
Jackson says, "I have worked with many bands around the world through the years, and none are better than Mark Gamsjager and the Lustre Kings. Their fine showmanship and musical ability make them the greatest in my book. THEY ROCK!!"
The Lustre Kings' new, appropriately-titled long-player "Way Out There" (Wild Boar Records) is their fourth and finest effort.
In his liner notes for the album, six-string wizard Deke Dickerson says, "Like a fine wine, the Lustre Kings just get better with each passing year, and this new album has the seasoned bouquet and nutty aftertastes that won't leave you disappointed."
And one-name-only Really Rockabilly reviewer, Kitti, says, a little more seriously than old Deke, "There is a rockin' rhythm throughout the album which perfectly unites all the songs. You have a feeling of traveling in time through America, and the Lustre Kings' time machine will show you the way out of the present and introduce you to doo-wop, country, hillbilly, bop and wild rock'n'roll, and then bring you back to rockabilly."
As noted, "Way Out There" is the fourth full-length platter from the band. The group's righteous Cacophone debut album, "Mark Gamsjager Rocks & The Lustre Kings Roll," was a travelogue of great American rock and roll, with tunes from legends like Gene Vincent and Ronnie Self, as well as from contemporaries like Commander Cody's Billy C. Farlow and the aforementioned Los Straitjackets' guitar strangler, Eddie Angel.
Amazon.com's Stephen Prisco called the record a keeper, saying "While most rockabilly bands seem to be content with just recreating the sound of classic records from years ago, the Lustre Kings have captured the spirit of that era, tapping into what made those records and artists so great in the first place."
The Lustre Kings' sophomore effort, "Once a King, Always a King," upped the ante with even more "hot boppin' rockabilly action," prompting the Berkshire Eagle to proclaim "The Lustre Kings dig deep into early rock and related styles, steering away from a greatest-hits oldies approach, preferring to connect the dots among such unlikely musical bedfellows as Conway Twitty, Peanuts Wilson, Link Wray and Duke Ellington (they even render a surf-guitar version of the Duke's "Caravan")."
And the killer third album, "That's Showbiz," the first on the Lustre Kings' own Wild Boar Records label, caused The Beat to rave "Gamsjager remembers when "rock 'n' roll" actually used to signify something, and his band sounds like it just left Sun Studios yesterday."
The Lustre Kings have a devoted international fan base and they continue to tear up the road every year, performing over 150 dates annually and appearing regularly at events like the Viva Las Vegas Festival (Las Vegas NV), the Heritage Folk Festival (Bangor ME) and the Rockin 50s Fest (Green Bay WI) as well as at famed haunts like the Continental Club (Austin TX), The Sutler (Nashville TN), The Starr Bar (Atlanta GA), The Hi-Tone (Memphis TN), Johnny D's (Somerville MA), The Big C Jamboree at Martyr's (Chicago IL) and, of course, the Mid-City Lanes Rock 'n' Bowl (New Orleans LA).
Creative Loafing got it right when they said, "The Lustre Kings have a sound so powerful it leaves listeners hungry for more."
High Noon Saloon
701A E. Washington Ave.
Madison, WI 53703
|Minimum Age: 21|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|