MARVIN JACKSON

"Gee Whiz Miss Liz"
Interview by Steve Kelemen

The name Marvin Jackson may not ring many bells, but still this cat brutally carved out a distinctive style. Through his efforts, this made him stand above the never ending legion of Elvis clones that were taking over, so forcefully, the airwaves and record sales during the 1950's.

I started playing guitar when I was 14 years old. Played lead guitar mostly for other singers at school shows and local dances. My first three records were made during 1957. They were released on my own Crestwood label. The first one was "Honey If You Love Me" b/w "World Of Make Believe" followed by "My Cryin' Heart" b/w "Someday You'll Be Sorry". Both were pressed by Starday Records in Madison, Tennessee. I had 300 copies made of each record. My 3rd Crestwood single was "Peek-A-Boo" b/w "You Gotta Have The Beat". This one ws pressed by King Records in Cincinnati, Ohio.


I had 200 copies made of that one. During the summer of 1958 I was drafted into the army. I completed my advanced training at Fort Hood, Texas, then went to Germany for 18 shows, etc. This was when I was stationed near Nuremberg. I was released from active duty in November 1960. I returned home and went back to work at McDonald Aircraft (where I worked before I was drafted) then the Berlin crisis broke and I was called back into the service.

During the 1950s I drove all over Arkansas, Illinois, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee shaking DJ's hands and having them play my records. I got quite a few interviews and most of the DJ's were friendly. Austin Wood (who booked the Grand Ole Opry stars in my area) had a radio show on KTTR in Rolla, Missouri, had me on his show. I think he also had a TV show too. He was a very nice man and treated me good when he played my records and interviewed me. Most people don't know that he was blind. He died a while back.

Anyway, my records played very well locally on the radio and juke boxes. The main ones were "Jaybird", "Peek-A-Boo" and "Turn To Jesus". "Turn To Jesus" was recorded and released by Uncle Buck Lipe (Mr. Ducktail). He was a local DJ and record producer (The "Sam Phillips of Missouri", who was responsible for some of the BEST ROCKABILLY that came out of the state-S.K.).

In 1985 White Label Records released an album full of my songs. Some of the tracks were recorded that year with my band "The Rockabilly Three". I'm happy that Cees Klop put that album out. Originally Bison Bob (now Buffalo Bop) was going to release the album, but for some reason they didn't.

Nowdays I make my living as a construction worker. I am very interested in doing some of these Rockabilly shows that we talked about. I'm in good health and ready to Rock'n'Roll for all of these new Rockabilly lovers - there's no better form of music.




Rockabilly Hall of Fame