One Track Mind: The Jackson Investment Company, "What Can I Say" (1967)

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Whenever I’m asked what my very favorite song in the whole wide world is, I promptly reply, “What Can I Say” by the Jackson Investment Company.

Released on the Paris Tower label in November of 1967 and incorrectly titled “What Can I Do,” the boss tune is so lively and catchy that it makes one wonder how on earth it missed sweeping the airwaves.

A bucking riff stolen straight from “Hey Joe” collides in harmony with reedy organ passages and bouncing rhythms. The vocals are young and vulnerable, and midway through the song, a shrilly scream emerges from the melodic rubble, adding an extra dose of coolness to the proceedings.

Smeared with spangly guitars and whipping hooks, “What Can I Say” (Paris Tower Records) is performed in a relentlessly gingerly fashion. The energy is intense and grounded, giving off vibes of a sugar-induced rush. The flipside of “What Can I Say” continues to accent the Jackson Investment Company’s penchant for binding together folk pop elements with a teen punk attitude. Fired by ringing chords, “Not This Time” jangles to the max with edgy intent.

Obviously influenced by bands such as the Byrds and the Leaves, the Jackson Investment Company, due to their youth and the fact their single did not exactly receive a big budget production treatment, actually sound more like a garage rock version of the McCoys or Dino Desi and Billy. And that is indeed high praise.

Located in Lakeland, Florida, the Jackson Investment Company did not cut any further material. Sad to say, “What Can I Say”/”Not This Time” stands as the band’s sole claim to vinyl. But what a great record it is, as it represents true blue rock and roll in all its exciting glory. And that alone has earned the Jackson Investment Company a place on our turntables and in our hearts.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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