Love Me Forever
is an album by Wanda Jackson
, released in 1963
While Jackson would eventually come to be most widely known as an early rockabilly pioneer, these recordings date from the era in which she had turned to the country market, slightly but not heavily tilted toward the Nashville country-pop style. That might disappoint fans of her earlier gangbusters like "Fujiyama Mama," but actually, these are quite strong performances, if with barely a hint of her raunchier roots. Love Me Forever, unusually for a popular artist of the early '60s, contained no tracks that appeared on singles.Wanda Jackson
It sounds influenced, whether consciously or unconsciously, by the classy Nashville country-pop successes Brenda Lee was churning out by the handful during the period, particularly in the production and arrangements. Yet Jackson does handle the style, and the material, quite deftly, putting enough of her own stamp on the proceedings to steer them clear of accusations of a Lee imitation. If there's any mild overall flaw, it's that the material wasn't the most adventurous, including some well-known songs like "Please Love Me Forever" (a recent hit for Cathy Jean & the Roommates, and later a hit for Bobby Vinton), Willie Nelson's "Funny How Time Slips Away," and Ivory Joe Hunter's "Since I Met You Baby."
(age 81) is a retired American singer, songwriter, pianist and guitarist who had success in the mid-1950s and 1960s as one of the first popular female rockabilly singers, and a pioneering rock-and-roll artist. She is known to many as the "Queen of Rockabilly
Jackson began her professional career while still attending Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City after being discovered by Hank Thompson in 1954, who heard her singing on a local radio station. She recorded "You Can't Have My Love", a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song reached number 8 on the country chart. Jackson asked Capitol to sign her but was turned down by producer Ken Nelson, who told her, "Girls don't sell records." She signed with Decca Records instead.
After graduating from high school, Jackson began to tour with her father as manager and chaperon. She often shared the bill with Elvis Presley
, who encouraged her to sing rockabilly. She briefly dated Presley
while touring. Jackson's stage outfits in these years were often designed by her mother. Unlike the traditional clothing worn by female country music singers of the time, she wore fringed dresses, high heels and long earrings. She has claimed she was the first woman to put "glamour into country music."
She recorded with then-unknown Buck Owens
. With a unique vocal style and upbeat material, Jackson created some of the most influential rock and roll of the time. She was headlining concerts with her own band, which she dubbed the Party Timers. Prominently featured were the pianist Big Al Downing and the guitarist Roy Clark
, who was virtually unknown at the time.
She had a resurgence in popularity in the 1980s among rockabilly revivalists in Europe and younger Americana fans. Cyndi Lauper acknowledged Jackson's classic rockabilly records were a major influence and inspiration for her during this period, and Jackson's fans also included a new generation of country music female vocalists, among them Rosanne Cash, Pam Tillis, Jann Browne, and Rosie Flores. Jackson recorded a duet with Browne. In 1995 she sang two duets with Flores and then embarked on a tour with her.
In 2009, she teamed up with Jack White to record The Party Ain't Over. The album, released in 2011, marked Jackson's first charting on the Billboard Hot 200 LP chart. The album broke the record for being the oldest female vocalist (at age 73) to make the chart
, previously held by Mae West. She performed with Jack White on both the Late Show with David Letterman and Conan.
In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
in the category Early Influence.