Given the name that I go by, it might seem funny to say that I didn't catch on to Elvis Presley right away. By the time I found out how to work the radio dial, the air was full of beat groups from Liverpool and Elvis was this slightly older guy singing melodramatic Italian ballads.
Well, sometimes it takes a little time to get the story straight and I know now that it was my loss. When Elvis started making great Memphis records again in the late '60s and I dug back until I found the sides that carried the yellow Sun label, then I understood.
Well, Wanda has the jump on all of us. She was there right around the time Elvis found the place where the songs of Bill Monroe and Junior Parker collided. More importantly, she doesn't just know the name of this music: Wanda still knows how to get the rock to roll...
What you have here is a tribute to the King by the woman who has a pretty good claim on another kind of crown. To this day. Wanda's voice has the fire, the spirit and the mischief that has always lit up her records.
Having started out in country music, Wanda has always known how to get to the heart of a ballad but once she got the feeling for rock and roll music, and this record tells the tale of how she got it, there was no stopping her and there never will be.
From Wanda's first declaration you know this is going to be a good rocking record, especially since you can tell that it is just Wanda and four musicians in one room. It's good to see Clem Burke on this record. He knows a thing or two about bringing the beat for a gal singer and there is just what you need and no more from Don Randi on piano, Razor X on stand-up bass and not to mention some very fine rockabilly guitar work from producer, Danny B. Harvey.
This record doesn't just contain Wanda's renditions of her Elvis favourites but also features her reminiscences of a friendship and the mutual appreciation of the Hillbilly Cat and the country singer that he encouraged to become the first Woman of Rock and Roll.
This is the real story behind those pictures for which fans have long composed their own scenario. The recollection of that last meeting of Elvis, Wanda and her husband, Wendell, has a very poignant air but also explains the way this valued friendship finds a place in Wanda's life today.
Listen to the way Wanda's voice bubbles up to the surface on the lyric "I wanna play house with you" with the promise and threat in a song that John Lennon later borrowed for "Run For Your Life" and then tell me why this woman isn't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Write to the Hall of Fame today!