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.
Her second album, "Two Sides To Every Woman" in 1979, featured guest musicians like Paul Schafer, Clarence Clemons, and John McFee of The Doobie Brothers (Carlene co-wrote their hit, "One Step Closer"); and also began a writing collaboration with her soon-to-be husband, esteemed British singer-writer-producer Nick Lowe, on Carlene's first charting country single, "Do It In A Heartbeat" (#42 Billboard). Clips of their wedding were seen in his "Cruel To Be Kind" video, and Lowe produced his wife's next two albums: 1980's "Musical Shapes," with Dave Edmunds dueting on the single "Baby Ride Easy" (the album was later called "one of the finest country-rock albums of the post-rockabilly age" by Entertainment Weekly); and "Blue Nun," an R & B-influenced European release highlighted by two duets with Paul Carrack (who left Squeeze to join her band) in 1981. While Carlene's model looks were being seen in the high-fashion pages of Harper's Bazaar, her risque onstage patter got her quoted and cartooned in Playboy magazine's year-end issue as well.
Carlene made the American Top-40 pop chart (at #32) with Robert Ellis Orrall on their duet "I Couldn't Say No," and followed it with her techno-tinged "C'est C Bon" album on Epic, both in 1983. But after five albums with no major hits of her own, Carlene took a break from her recording career, and spent a year on the London stage in the hit American musical "Pump Boys and Dinettes"; then filled in for her ailing aunt Anita when The Carter Family came to Wembley with the Johnny Cash show, and ended up going on the road with them for the next two years, until she decided it was time to work on her own music again. Dwight Yoakam told her: "Carlene, there is a place for you in country music"--afterall, what was now getting airplay was the same mix of country and rock that she had been playing all along. She started off the new decade with a hit duet on the country charts, "Time's Up," with old pal John McFee's new group Southern Pacific--which opened the door for Carlene's own "I Fell In Love" (back on Warner Bros. again) in the fall of 1990, produced by bassist Howie Epstein of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
With one of the hippest, rockinest country songs ever put on tape, the TNN and CMT #1 video helped propel the single to #3 on the Billboard country chart, and #4 for the entire year on The Gavin Report for country radio play; while the "I Fell In Love" album was named one of the year's 10 best in any genre by TIME, People, and Stereo Review magazines. Award nominations followed for the Academy of Country Music's "Top New Female Vocalist"; and "Best Country Vocal Performance, Female," at the 1991 Grammy Awards. Hit singles continued with "Come On Back" (also #3) and "The Sweetest Thing"; and Carlene's sparkling video presence made her a natural to bring country music to the hip VH-1 audience as their first country video hostess with her own daily hour, "The Carlene Carter Show."
Her new country star status kept Carlene on the road for most of the next 18 months, until she did the unthinkable by Nashville standards, taking a year off to write her next album. The delay cost Carlene her deal at Warner Bros. Reprise, but she was quickly signed to their newer Giant Records division for 1993's "Little Love Letters" (again produced by Epstein), which repeated her previous success with another smash hit video and single, "Every Little Thing" (#3); and reviews like Country Music magazine's praise for the album and its second single: "'Unbreakable Heart' boasts the same kind of jazzy chords that Willie Nelson wrote into 'Crazy' and Patsy Cline picked up on, and Carter sings it just that classily." In 1994, Carlene had a cameo in the movie "Maverick," with a single and video ("Something Already Gone") from the film's soundtrack.
By 1995, her musical evolution had brought Carlene to the next logical step of producing her second album for Giant, "Little Acts of Treason," on which she finally got her dad Carl Smith out of retirement for a duet of his hit "Loose Talk" (#1 for seven weeks the year Carlene was born). The CD's first single and video were an upbeat cover of Kennedy Rose's "Love Like This"; "But," said People magazine, "the real stunner here is 'Change,' a ballad she wrote that is an introspective look at Carter's life, demonstrating her maturity as a songwriter and as a singer of deeply felt emotions." Though the CD yielded no real hits, Carlene Carter continued to be one of the most critically-acclaimed artists of her time, New Country magazine stating that: "a holding pattern in her book is a career-high achievement in virtually anyone else's," and Carlene has named this disc as her favorite.
More TV appearances included a series of specials for TNN, "Carlene Carter: Circle of Song," which TV Guide called "an entertaining and informal musical roundup," with many of her musical friends and family members joining her; and Carlene hit 33 cities in 1996 with two other famous Nashville daughters, Lorrie Morgan and Pam Tillis, for what USA Today believed to be "the first all-female major country tour."
But just as doors had opened in the early '90s for Carlene and many of her peers, by mid-decade the industry was changing again, with more emphasis placed on the youth market and creating overnight "superstars," while many country hit-makers were suddenly without a record deal. Giant released Carlene's first "best of" collection, "Hindsight 20/20" (1996), with 20 songs spanning 20 years of recording. Country Weekly wrote: "For most of the last two decades, Carlene Carter has roared and rocked Nashville's socks off and sometimes we've taken her for granted. 'Hindsight 20/20' reminds us just how much we'd miss her if she wasn't around to brighten our lives." Unfortunately, this was the last that most of her fans would see or hear of Carlene for the next several years.
Though she continued to occasionally perform on successful tours of Europe, Carlene mostly laid low in the U.S.--or tried to, as legal problems put her back in the spotlight, and the tabloids, at times. She reunited with Dave Edmunds on a song for a Nike commercial in 2002; and made guest appearances in 2003 on albums by The Chieftains, and a Waylon Jennings tribute (with critics noting the similarity in his and Carlene's rebellious personalities)--but her life was devastated by a series of personal losses as many of her loved ones, including several family members, died within the span of about a year.
Her performance of "Jackson" with Brooks & Dunn at the Johnny Cash Memorial Tribute concert in the fall of 2003 (which The Tennessean called "the show's emotional highlight"), inspired the producers of a new stage musical to approach Carlene about starring in "Wildwood Flowers: The June Carter Story," which focused on her mom's early years with Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters. Living in L.A. at the time and still concentrating on her recovery (with the help of MusiCares), Carlene eventually accepted the role, returned to Nashville, and along with cousin Lorrie Davis Bennett as her own mom, Anita Carter, found comfort and healing in playing June in July 2005--though as No Depression magazine wrote: "'Play' is not quite the right word. Onstage, Carlene kicked into a dance like her mother, carried her body like her, very much seemed to become her." Each show ended with Carlene's emotional tribute to her grandma and sister Rosey on "Me And The Wildwood Rose," segueing into "Will The Circle Be Unbroken."
Carlene continues to honor Rosey on the title track to her new CD "Stronger," with its powerful refrain, "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger"; she chronicles the journey taken with her new husband from L.A. back home to Nashville in "Bring Love"; and reprises her tongue-in-cheek anthem "I'm So Cool" from 1980. Another new highlight on the CD is Carlene's own version of her long-lost song "It Takes One To Know Me," written as a birthday present for her stepfather when she was just 19, and first heard on the Johnny Cash box-set "The Legend" in 2005; then in 2006 on his "Personal File" CD and "16 Biggest Hits" by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
In 2006, Carlene recorded a pre-release version of "Stronger" with her brother, John Carter Cash (who also produced their mom's last two Grammy-winning CDs), which was sold at Carlene's concerts and through her Fan Club online. For the official label release, her old friend John McFee (of The Doobie Brothers and Southern Pacific) served as producer and multi-instrumentalist, and the CD came out in March 2008 on the respected independent label Yep Roc Records, with many critics and fans around the world naming "Stronger" as among the best work from Carlene Carter's 30-year career. Elvis Costello contacted McFee: "I couldn't let a day go by without writing a note about C.C.'s record. It is astounding." And legendary lyricist Bernie Taupin told the Fan Club that "Stronger" was: "A staggering achievement by one of the great voices and fearless hearts of country rock." USA Today said simply: "It's great to hear her again."
Carrying on both sides of her historic family legacies, Carlene is currently working on a CD and DVD with many artists paying tribute to her father Carl Smith, the legendary 2003 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in January 2010; and her own next CD will feature Carlene singing songs of the Carter Family. Nearly a century after their first recordings changed the course of American music, the circle remains unbroken by Carlene Carter, stronger than ever.
The names Slim Jim Phantom and Tim Polecat are synonymous with rockabilly and 80s music, they have secured their place as a true rock n roll icons. Phantom, as the legendary drummer for the Stray Cats, and Tim Polecat, lead singer of The Polecats, they are part of the select few who were instrumental in reintroducing rockabilly into pop culture, providing the prototype for the modern rockabilly style and sound.
Slim Jim Phantom and Tim Polecat have previously worked together with their band 13 Cats which was well received and garnered critical acclaim, they have also written songs for feature film soundtracks. Beyond the Stray Cats Jim has worked with some of the world's top artists and has played a part in many successful groups; notably Phantom, Rocker and Slick featuring guitarist Earl Slick which produced two popular albums, The Head Cat featuring Lemmy and Dead Men Walking an all-star affair which boasted original members of The Sex Pistols, The Cult, The Damned and The Alarm among the line-up. Jim also enjoyed a stint playing with The Killer, rock n roll originator, Jerry Lee Lewis. Over 25 years and millions of record sales later, Slim Jim Phantom continues to inspire and excite audiences worldwide. With a sound, style and image that remains as fresh today as it ever was Phantom has cemented his place among rock royalty. Considered by many as the coolest drummer in rock n roll, Phantom's influence is still clearly felt on today's music scene with countless rockabilly drummers imitating his pioneering stand-up style.
Tim has worked as a visual designer for top names in music. He also released a ground-breaking, solo album titled 'Virtual Rockabilly' and has produced several albums for other neo-rockabilly bands including the The Quakes and Wrecking Ball. Tim continues to tour, record, and work as a film and soundtrack composer, his most recent film composing project is for the feature film "Isle of Dogs" to be released in US theaters in February 2012. Tim Polecat continues to be regarded as one of the best, live, front-men on tour in the rockabilly community.
2012: Slim Jim Phantom and Tim Polecat are currently touring internationally, playing a selection of their songs from Stray Cats, The Polecats, & 13 Cats.
Few musical performers can be called both outlaw and true American hero. Johnny Cash embodied both! His legacy lives on in Big River, a loving tribute to the music and life of one of our most treasured talents.
Big River is easily distinguished from other tribute acts by not only presenting a powerful visual experience in concert but more importantly, their commitment to “the sound” that defined Johnny Cash and his music. In the words of Cindy Cash (Johnny’s daughter) who visited Big River at a recent show, “that’s the best thing I’ve heard since my Daddy’s band”.
It is this commitment that drives Big River to continue to perform throughout Southern California for Johnny’s many long time fans and to introduce his music to a whole new generation!
Big River has earned the respect of these fans over the last several years through their performances at nightclubs, car shows, private parties, weddings, corporate events and were even chosen as favorites at the 2009 1st annual Johnny Cash Music Festival held in Ventura, CA where the band hails from.
Big River features the seasoned vocal talent of Bobby Dickson, the sparkling guitar work of Joe Baugh, the steady rhythm of bassist Eric Monteith and the powerful locomotion of drummer Tony Cicero.
"Cash Up Front" was born out a love for the huge repertoire of music by a true legend of our times, Mr. Johnny Cash. Our goal is to bring this outstanding body of work to people everywhere, and we've just started: from the fabulous Wiltern Theatre in L.A., to the House of Blues in Las Vegas, Anaheim and Hollywood, to Laughlin Nevada, and numerous venues between - from atop a flatbed truck in California's Norco State Prison, to corporate events, theatres and festivals, to the Annual Johnny Cash ocean cruise where we performed for members of Johnny Cash's family, who were thrilled and amazed by our performance.
The world's premier Johnny Cash tribute "Cash Up Front" is a riveting, driving ensemble that plays spirited renditions of Cash's classics and more obscure gems with a voice out front that must be heard to be believed!
Lead guitarist, Phil Ernst and drummer/percussionist Alex Carlisle are both graduates of the prestigious Musicians Institute of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, California. Bassist Mike Salazar is a veteran rock player. All of this is fronted by Corby Gallegos, whose vocal expertise and stage presence is second to none and brings the unmistakable voice of Johnny Cash to life.
Johnny's sister, Joanne Cash actually performed a song with the band, and with tears in her eyes, said that "when she closed her eyes she could hear and see her brother Johnny."
At a recent two night show for the "Covina Center for the Performing Arts" the owner commented on the "remarkable and top-notch show". The cities of Brea and Hacienda Heights were so impressed with the group that they are making arrangements to have "Cash Up Front" return for more shows.
In L.A. at the avant-garde "York on York", where "Cash Up Front" holds the #1 resident monthly band spot, fans come from miles around to catch the show, and experience for themselves Full-Contact Johnny Cash Music.
Laying down the cool country grooves, direct from Hokitika on the wild West Coast comes drummer extraordinaire, 'Liala Gianstefani.. (AKA 'Fancypants' ) Armed with a heavy artillery of rhythmic influences spanning Africa to the Middle East and back again to good old Rock and Roll, Fancypants was born to be a 'Johnny' from the first beat of her sticks.
Bass Player, Jo Taylor (AKA JT) was also born with music in her blood. Born and bred in Nelson JT's whole family plays music and she's been strumming, singing and beating something her entire life. The Johnnys without JT would be like country fried chicken without the crispy coating!..A mighty fine performer, bassist, harmonica player and vocalist JT adds the Johnnys authentic country flavour and proves beyond question that only women can multitask and that not all outstanding musicians are already famous!. Past musical highlights include forming member of Nelsons 90's Art rock band Alfalfameo, bass player for 'Karen Hunter' and 'Red Herring'. Jo is also currently the dynamic vocalist for alternative rock band 'The Crystal Set'.
Ex Drummer, vocalist and songwriter of Nelsons celebrated all girl band 'Queerfish' and ex 'Yellow 7' songwriter/vocalist and guitarist is Suzi Fray (AKA Johnny). Formerly only having ever played her own songs Fray leaps wholeheartedly into 'the fray' with this musical project taking on lead Johnny position as, 'the woman in black'. Often funny and usually cheeky Frays vocal and guitar style sits comfortably on the ears, caressing the Johnny Cash tunes with an honest, relaxed and believable delivery that sounds nothing like the man himself but like Cash exudes personality and will not leave you wanting. Fray also plays a mean guitar and a very engaging ukulele.
Combine The Johnnys musical talents with Fray's interesting and sometimes funny historical Cash commentary between songs and The Johnnys are a world class show not to be missed!
Christian Gallo (guitars)
Mike Askay (vocals, guitar)
Brian Hubert (bass)
Tom Mobley (drums)
Charlie Peterson (pedal steel guitar)
David Roine (fiddle, accordion)
Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats have taken the southern California music scene by storm. Their raucous live performances have crowds packing venues while dancing and singing along to the impassioned front man who summons the ghosts of Sam Cooke and James Brown, with an undeniable touch of his punk rock roots in the mix throughout. A Jeff Hershey & The Heartbeats show quickly gained the reputation as the place to be and the VC Reporter has recently hailed the band as "simply one of the best live bands to ever come from the area."
Now in 2012, after overwhelming demand, Hershey and company are set to release their debut album, Soul Music Vol. 1 on Siren Records- recorded at the legendary Pow Wow Fun Room in Los Angeles with Pete Curry of Los Straightjackets fame manning the boards. The Heartbeats recording plan was not an easy one - use only vintage recording equipment and record live, with no headphones, onto analog tape.The result? A record that sounds as if it was recorded decades ago and recently unearthed as a lost treasure from a bygone era.
Whether it be feel good anthems like the hook filled grooves of "Good Times" and "Push On Through" to the rip roaring intensity of "Wearing Me Out" and "Knock You Down" - or the hauntingly gorgeous ballad, "Honesty Road" - Soul Music Vol. 1 is a timeless 10 song journey that encompasses the heart and passion that Hershey has consistenly poured into his career as a musician.
"Soul music is the people's music", explains Hershey. "All we're trying to do is bring it back to the people, one song, one show, one record, one tour at a time. We made our bones on our live show and it was important to us to capture that raw intensity and also the sonic integrity of those classic soul records. No gimmicks, no tricks. We're happy that the response has been so positive. This is the music I was born to play and the band I've always wanted to front." With the record already receiving glowing reviews, it seems that the world will soon know what Ventura County has been lucky enough to know already, that if Jeff Hershey and the Heartbeats have any say in the matter, soul music isn't going out without a fight.
We are Kyle Hunt and The KING GYPSY(aka KHKG). Based out of Oak View California, this band was put together in January of 2008. Since then we have played shows from San Diego and up to San Francisco, with a w...ide range of original rock n roll songs. In March 2011 we released a 5 song self titled EP and plan on getting back in the studio in April of 2012 to record a follow up album to "Chasing a Dream" which was recorded 2009. Thank you to down on the dance floor at one of our next ones! Cheers everyone who comes out to our shows and for those who haven’t, put on your party pants, grab a beer and get on out to Roadshow Revival 6-16-2012.
Rock n Roll with a kick in the face by some muddy country killing boots, The Pullmen have drawn comparisons ranging from Against Me!, to the Pixies, to "The Dead Milkmen's Rodney Anonymous fronting Modest Mouse" and "If Tom Waits scored a Sergio Leone movie." (VCReporter).
Their lineup consists of ex-members of Missing 23rd (Sessions Records) and 2011 SXSW band Hotels & Highways. With their storied reputations coming together and creating a new sound for their oldest fans, the buzz around The Pullmen has been loud.
A year after coming together, The Pullmen has shared the bill with Old Man Markley (Fat Wreck Chords), Riverboat Gamblers (Volcom Records), Drag the River (Suburban Home Records).
The Pullmen will be released their first record, "The Western Score," Feb. 24, 2012.
It would seem that the old Roman port city of Marseille, France would be the least likely place to produce the latest Johnny Cashinspired performer. Yet, that's exactly where J.R. Black, the first performer to translate and sing the songs of Johnny Cash in French, hails from. Born in this most southern of French cities, J.R. Black developed a deep love and respect for faraway country stars such as Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, George Jones and, especially, Johnny Cash. With his full backing band,J.R. Black emulates the traditional Johnny Cash sound, from the simple bass parts to the Luther Perkins boom-chicka-boom leads, yet interprets it with a certain Gallic flair and sensitivity.
J.R. Black eventually relocated to Los Angeles, becoming a founding member of the gothic country punk band Miss Derringer. The band, featuring J.R. Black bass player Morgan Slade and famed artist Liz McGrath, toured the United States opening for such popular acts as Blondie, Tiger Army, Bad Religion, John Doe and The Head Cat. J.R. Black drummer Frederick Arciniegas also has a distinguished rock 'n' roll track record, from keeping beats for legendary New York Dolls guitar player Sylvain Sylvain to touring the U.S. with garage rock favorites the Charms. Rounding out the band are two other uniquely talented performers - Swedish singer Ghena Nasser and Los Angeles-based guitar gunslinger Mike Silver. "Translating the songs is such a special challenge," notes Black, explaining that he has such respect and awe for the songs that it can be a very intimidating process. "People in France have always had a special fascination with and love of American culture - from rock 'n' roll to cowboys and Indians to outlaw convicts - so the songs in French still make a lot of sense. And they also love trains!" So, while this train-inspired sound might be headed South, it's not the Old Southern sound you might expect!
Since exploding onto the Ventura music scene in 2010, this band continues to make big and blasting first impressions. They have sold out Ventura locations Zoey's, have enjoyed full houses at J's Tapa's, W20 Watermark and Bombay, added a couple festivals and The House of Blues on the Sunset Strip to their roster of shows last summer and are continuing to book eclectic shows while bringing their intense style of music and energy with them.
A band is said to be a sum of its parts... Ian McFadyen probably adds a couple dozen sticks all by himself...Ian writes and sings most of the bands repertoire and his 6'2" suit and tie clad "Mr. Clean" persona is impossible to ignore as he powerfully unleashes an electric wall of sound from his amplified Deering Crossfire 5 string banjo with it’s daunting double cut-away black horns. After a 10 year musical sabbatical, Ian ventured back into the local music scene, creating quite a buzz just by showing up at local open mics. People told him "you need a band" so he recruited friend and cohort Whitey Wingland to be his wingman on guitar and harmonica, and met Michael Dominguez via a referral from music Diva Peggy. Less than two months after their debut performance, substitute Chris Jensen became 50 Stick's regular drummer.
Their original song list has been growing weekly as Ian has been particularly prolific after his long respite. The band rounds out their 3+ hour club set with unique renditions of classic blues and rock covers, as well as modern rockers by bands such as The Black Keys. Recently, they played an entire set of Jimi Hendrix favorites… the room went wild! You will soon recognize many faces if you attend a few 50 Sticks events...the band is definitely building it's following of those who can't seem to get enough. It's interesting to see these people come into the room cool, calm and collected only to leave at the end of the night drenched in their own sweat, a little hoarse from hollering and with authentic smiles from ear to ear...they appear to have had a huge blast. Expect to hear 50 Sticks of Dynamite blow the roof off a place near you soon...better yet…be there when they detonate next!
Oct 22 2011 - 50 Sticks of Dynamite self releases their first 9 song CD, a collection of almost live studio recordings of Ian McFadyen’s rockers and ballads. Available now on i-tunes and CD Baby.