Wanda Jackson, “Queen of Rockabilly,” has announced a new album, Encore, due Aug. 20, produced by Joan Jett and Jett’s own longtime producer, Kenny Laguna. She also released the album’s first single, “It Keeps Right On A Hurtin’.”
Jett tweeted on Friday about the LP, which features duets with Jett, Elle King, Angaleena Presley of Pistol Annies and Candi Carpenter.
“This project is one of the most personal pieces I have ever released,” Jackson wrote on her Facebook page. “I hope y’all love it as much as I do!
Jackson, an early force in rockabilly music, rose to fame with a series of hits between the late ’50s and early ’70s, including “Let’s Have A Party,” “Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine,” “A Woman Lives for Love” and “Fancy Satin Pillows.” When her once-boyfriend Elvis Presley suggested she switch from country to rock, Jackson steamrolled into the scene, flaunting what some called a “nasty” voice and becoming peers with singers like Jerry Lee Lewis.
“Everyone who cares about roots music and rock and roll reveres Wanda,” singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash said in 2009 as she inducted Jackson into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Early Influence category, “but in particular every young woman I know, musician or otherwise, worships her as the first as the prototype, the first female rockstar, as she so modestly acknowledges herself.”
You can listen to Jackson’s “It Keeps Right On A Hurtin'” below.
Two years ago, Jackson, who is now 83, retired from touring, citing health concerns. The singer suffered a stroke in 2018. “Singing and entertaining and travel were the things I loved most in the world,” she told Rolling Stone in 2019. “So, I do feel fortunate that I had 60-something years of touring, and that I’ve been every place that I care about being. I’ve got fans all over the world, and I’m still in good enough health that I can enjoy those things. But I felt like the time was right to go ahead and make that announcement. I’ll still do any special things that I can, If I’m called on.”
One of those special things was this collaboration with Jett, which has been in the works for a few years. “It’s [the] first time in a long time that I’ve written songs,” Jackson continued. “I never have written with other people, so that was a new experience, but I really see the advantage of doing that. It turned out great.”
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