Stonewall Jackson is one of the reasons why honky-tonk country music exists to this day. Alongside Ray Price, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams, Mr. Jackson helped define the hard-driving sound that became so popular in the 50s and 60s. I stumbled across Mr. Jackson on some patched together best of country tape, and was blown away by the smooth twang of his voice. “Waterloo”, Jackson’s song about a slew of personal downfalls, is one of the great unsung country tunes. A huge, almost military drum beat pushes the song forward as Jackson croons about Napoleon and the inevitable arrival of all of our own “personal Waterloos.” It’s dark, and silly and subtly fucked up just how I like my country.
Jackson was a hit machine, landing 35 hits in a fourteen year span, and eventually becoming a staple of the Grand Ole Opry. When he was released, unceremoniously, in 2006, he sued the company for “agism” after GOE manager Pete Fisher told him he was “too old, and too country.” Well, Mr. Fisher, I hope Mr. Jackson sued your fucking pants off.
There’s a great “Best of Stonewall Jackson” album floating out there somewhere. It’s rife, rife with awesome, twang-heavy tracks.