Let me introduce to you…
One of the pioneering artists in the history of Rock & Roll: singer, guitarist & songwriter Wanda Jackson, The Queen of Rockabilly.
Wanda Lavonne Jackson was born in Maud, Oklahoma on October 20, 1937. She was the daughter of Tom and Nellie Vera Jackson.
In 1954, Wanda Jackson made her first record: “You Can’t Have My Love,” a duet recorded with Country singer Billy Gray, for Decca Records. The record reached #8 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
Wanda was sixteen years old at the time and a student at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City.
In 1955, Wanda Jackson went on tour with, and briefly dated, Elvis Presley. He encouraged her to move away from Country music and start playing and singing in the Rockabilly or Rock & Roll style that he was becoming famous for.
In 1956, Wanda Jackson signed with Capitol Records and took Elvis’ advice. “I Gotta Know” was her first single. Written by Thelma Blackmon, Wanda’s rendition of “I Gotta Know” reached #15 on the Billboard Country Singles chart.
There’s plenty more where that came from!
To date, the Wanda Jackson discography includes 79 singles, 31 studio albums, 4 live albums and 22 compilation albums of her work. Her latest album, Unfinished Business, came out in 2012.
On April 4, 2009, Wanda Jackson was inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as an “Early Influence.”
Doing anything this weekend?
Wanda Jackson is performing this Friday, October 23 at the “high-energy music venue” Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach, California.
Happy 78th Birthday, Wanda Jackson!