“Blues In My Heart” by Wanda Jackson - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1965Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

’65 was another busy year for Wanda – she had been invited to record in Germany and soon found herself with German language hits in the charts over there. It would prove to be the start of a European journey which would figure large in her remarkable story. As well as this new development, she delivered two new albums on the home front, the first of which, “Blues in my Heart”, arrived in April. The album was recorded and produced by Ken Nelson in Nashville in May 1964. With Wanda were: Grady Martin (guitar), Harold Bradley (guitar), Lloyd Green (steel guitar), Bob Moore (bass), Buddy Harman (drums), Charlie McCoy (french harp), Floyd Cramer (piano) and the Jordanaires (backing vocals). It proved to be the best she’s ever done; an opinion of mine which was shared by the record buying public. It’s a country-fied version of the blues, as you might expect, and themed around the tried and trusted themes of the genre; world weary songs telling tales of loneliness in midnight hour. Just to make sure you get the message, at least 4 of the songs have “blues” in the title. Although there are one or two lightweights, there is generally a terrific depth to the work. First sign of greatness comes on track 2, a version of Carl Belew’s “Lonely Street”: “I need a place to go and weep where's this place called Lonely Street, a place where there's just loneliness where dim lights bring forgetfulness, where broken dreams and mem'ries meet where's this place called Lonely Street.” Lawdy lawd, the empty and blue tone is set. Just two songs later, Wanda delivers her finest moment in all of her recording history, as she reads a stunning version of Hank William’s “Weary Blues From Waitin’”, a tune which was issued as a single at the tail end of ’64. It’s that pleading vocal that gets me every time: “sweet Daddy, please come on home”. Wanda’s reading is impeccable; she cuts even deeper than the original – it’s so beautiful it nearly makes me faint. What a gal. Second last on the LP is “Night Life” – a cover of Willie Nelson’s tune of ’59. This is simply a great performance from singer and group, all feeling those blues together. Wanda herself acknowledges the chemistry halfway through: “talk to me blues” she encourages her players, who respond brilliantly and seamlessly in that special universal language. After that, ending the album with the poppy “Singing The Blues” seems like a betrayal…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:10] 5.7.png Wanda Jackson - Blues In My Heart (Jenny Carson, Red Foley) Country
A2 [02:32] 7.6.png Wanda Jackson - Lonely Street (Carl Belew, Kenny Sowder, W. S. Stevenson) Country
A3 [02:20] 7.3.png Wanda Jackson - Midnight (Chet Atkins, Boudleaux Bryant) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A4 [03:14] 9.9.png Wanda Jackson - Weary Blues From Waitin’ (Hank Williams) Country
A5 [02:13] 6.9.png Wanda Jackson - I’m Waiting Just For You (Henry Glover, Carolyn Leigh) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [02:40] 4.6.png Wanda Jackson - Oh Lonesome Me (Don Gibson) Country
B1 [02:55] 6.8.png Wanda Jackson - Blues Stay Away From Me (Alton Delmore, Rabon Delmore, Henry Glover, Wayne Raney) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:51] 6.2.png Wanda Jackson - Worried Mind (Jimmie Davis, Ted Daffan) Country
B3 [02:39] 7.4.png Wanda Jackson - Just For You (Harlan Howard) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B4 [02:43] 5.9.png Wanda Jackson - I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams) Country
B5 [02:13] 8.3.png Wanda Jackson - Night Life (Walt Breeland, Paul Buskirk, Willie Nelson) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [02:36] 4.5.png Wanda Jackson - Singing The Blues (Melvin Endsley) Country

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