#866: Happy Happy Birthday by Wanda Jackson
Peak Month: December 1960
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
CFUN Twin Pick ~ November 19, 1960
Wanda Lavonne Jackson was born in 1937 in Maud, Oklahoma. According to Wolf Kurt in his essay, “You Can’t Catch Me: Rockabilly Bursts Through The Door,” Jackson’s dad was a musician. In search of a better life, he relocated the family to Bakersfield, California, in the 1940’s. While in Bakersfield, her dad purchased Wanda a guitar and taught her to play. Tom Jackson also took his daughter to live concerts by Spade Cooley, Tex Williams and Bob Wills, which opened her eyes and ears to the exciting world of country and western music. It was when she was eleven years old that her family returned to Oklahoma in the fall of 1948. In 1954, while she was still sixteen years old, Wanda Jackson started to sing professionally in Oklahoma City. While in high school, Jackson had been discovered by country music recording artist, Hank Thompson, who heard Wanda singing KLPR-AM in Oklahoma City. Thompson asked Wanda to sing with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys. This led to her recording several songs with Capitol Records. Among those was a duet with the Brazos Valley Boys bandleader, Billy Gray titled “You Can’t Have My Love.” The song climbed to #8 on the Billboard country chart. From her initial success, Wanda Jackson approached Capitol Records to give her a record contract. However, she was told by producer Ken Nelson that Capitol wasn’t interested because “Girls don’t sell records.” Subsequently, Wanda Jackson got a record deal with Decca Records.