Ventura Theater Presents
Nekromantix, Wanda Jackson
Hard Six, Radio Threat, The Graveyard Kings, The Cursed Bastards
26 S. Chestnut St.
Ventura, CA, 93001
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Beloved psychobilly outfit Nekromantix will be loading up their hot-rod hearse and tearing up the nation's asphalt during the summer months for another barn burning tour of North America. Led by the exquisitely coiffed rock and roll idol Kim Nekroman and his infamous coffin bass, the Nekromantix will begin their rollicking trek by entertaining their rabid fans in the Arizona desert before taking their otherworldly sound to the Southern swamplands before eventually careening into the fleshpots of Las Vegas for a finale at the Country Saloon. As the news hounds at the Phoenix New Times recently raved: "You could make a helluva case for Nekromantix frontman Kim Nekroman as (psychobilly's) crown prince. In many ways, the Nekromantix epitomize the psychobilly look and sound even more than the good Reverend himself."
Wanda Jackson was born in Oklahoma, but her father Tom — himself a country singer who quit because of the Depression — moved the family to California in 1941. He bought Wanda her first guitar two years later, gave her lessons, and encouraged her to play piano as well. In addition, he took her to see such acts as Tex Williams, Spade Cooley, and Bob Wills, which left a lasting impression on her young mind. Tom moved the family back to Oklahoma City when his daughter was 12 years old. In 1952, she won a local talent contest and was given a 15-minute daily show on KLPR. The program, soon upped to 30 minutes, lasted throughout Jackson's high school years. It's here that Thompson heard her sing. Jackson recorded several songs with the Brazos Valley Boys, including "You Can't Have My Love," a duet with Thompson's bandleader, Billy Gray. The song, on the Decca label, became a national hit, and Jackson's career was off and running. She had wanted to sign with Capitol, Thompson's label, but was turned down due to her young age, so she signed with Decca instead.
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.
In 2009 Wanda was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, and Bruce Springsteen were just a few of the high-profile artists that encouraged the Hall to induct the Queen over the last few years. That year it was also announced that Jackson would start work on new recordings with Jack White. The resulting album, The Party Ain't Over, was released on January 25, 2011. It included a cover of the Bob Dylan rockabilly song, "Thunder on the Mountain" as well as a fiery cover of Amy Winehouse's hit song "You Know I'm No Good". "The Party Ain't Over" was well-received by many critics and fans all over the world.
Members of Radio Threat have been playing in the Oxnard/ Ventura music scene for 15 years in bands such as Confessions of a Monster, The Pretty Uglys, Disfunction, and The Riverbottom Nightmare Band..to name a few. Our current lineup of Favio, Johnny, Bobby and Este has only one focus..Rock and Roll music, and playing live. Influenced by everything from Hank Williams to the Dwarves..Ritchie Valens to the Ramones..our sound can't be confined into one genre, and our live show can't be described as anything other than a full tilt rock and roll party. We won't dissapoint, and we can't be denied....WFRT