Label: Academia Royal
This compilation of some of Wanda Jackson's most beloved songs profoundly illustrates the rockabilly queen's greatest skill. No, not singing; though hers is nuanced and dexterous, dipping in and out of plaintive crooning and salty, scratchy caterwauling. Nor is it her commanding presence, though honey, she's got one. What Jackson most excels at is existing between and exacerbating apparently opposing poles: country and rock, male and female, sweetness and sass. Such ambivalence was par for the course for a female performer in the 1950s, but nobody straddles the divide with Wanda's style.