Not to beat this whole Cramps thang to death…During an interesting conversation (mostly one-sided, and highly enjoyable via the internets with a new found friend), the following rock equation was confirmed.  You take the schmaltz, swagger, sex, and glitter of Elvis + the thundering gal on guitar and belting vocals of Wanda Jackson + the frantic, hollerin’ and hillbilly hunchin’ of Hasil Adkins + stir it up, add some hardcore NY snips and whips, pour it generously into a raging ’70s garage band, bake at 1,000 degrees = you might just have yourself The Cramps.

Wanda Jackson briefly dated Elvis, who encouraged her to go Rockabilly with her sound and show.

Check that pickguard made of old 45’s on Hasil Adkin’s guitar on the right…. Holy hot tracks, Batman!

The Cramps famously covered Hasil Adkins’ “She Said” which led to a new found interest in his music.

Wanda Jackson – The Queen of Rockabilly, pictured right with Elvis – The King of Rock & Roll

See here now… help me out.  Is this truly Hasil pictured here in this trio above?

The Cramps Nick Knox, Poison Ivy & Lux Interior in an old Enigma Records publicity still.

Wanda Jackson, not just a pretty face.  She’ll make your hair stand on end with her thumpin’ & singin’.

The legendary Hasil Adkins who recorded in relative obscurity in a shack ’til the ’80s found him. via

Ivy and Lux – never looked better than they do here.  Those were the days, y’all.

Wanda Jackson with the legendary Gene Vincent


  1. I had the “pleasure” (not sure if that’s the correct word) of seeing Hasil perform a few years before his death at the Rockaround Las Vegas.
    He was great, although slightly incoherent, which only added to the performance.

  2. Speaking of obscure musical greats, you must check out Abner Jay. You will die when you here him for the first time. He only has like 2 Lps available for purchase.

    Charlie Feathers reminds me of a more mellow Hasil Adkins. He has the same lo-fi quality.

    all very good stuff in today’s post. I have to catch up on your posts as I’m behind.

  3. I got to see Wanda Jackson play in Atlanta last year and she was a blast. She’s a devout christian these days but she still put on a great show. She told us about dating Elvis and yodeled for us.

  4. I am enjoying this conversation about who started what, who influenced who, the history of rock’n’roll etc. Whilst on the subject of music can I make a request that you do something about the French stylist Serge Gainsbourgh. Don’t know if he can match Elvis as a singer and performer, but he had a certain something and his list of affairs is all time.


    Wanda’s Funnel of Love 45rpm slowed down to 33rpm. Actually pretty darn cool.

    Nice post. Saw Hasil a few times over the years, as great as (some) of his records are, the shows I saw were not too good. Hell of a character, though.

    Bob Dylan used to talk about the great injustice of Wanda Jackson not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Rumor has it that Elvis told her to keep singing rockabilly when she considered a switch to straight country.

    @ Crystal–nice mention of Charlie Feathers, one of the true greats.

  6. I think you and I are brothers separated at birth. The Cramps are my all time favorite band. I was lucky enough to see them live many times over the years starting around 1988 in S.F. and then several more times after that. I saw them play their very last Halloween show at the Filmore S.F. and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world. The Cramps kept Rock ‘n’ Roll in the gutter where it belonged.

  7. Missing from the mix is Bob Mcfadden and Dor’s album ‘Songs Our Mummy Taught Us’ which gives The Cramps their B movie horror element, (this album was also an obvious influence on Richard Hell). I’m not really a music buff but I used to own this album, and was lucky enough to see the Cramps on several occasions.

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