This Historic Day In Music: Wanda Jackson

Wanda Jackson – the singer, guitarist & songwriter who became known as the “Queen of Rockabilly” – was born in Maud, Oklahoma on this day, October 20, in 1937.

In 1956, 19-year-old Wanda signed with Capitol Records and soon saw the release of her first single for the label: “I Gotta Know” b/w “Half As Good A Girl.”

Her first album for Capitol, Wanda Jackson, came out in July of 1958 and contained the song that – in 1960 – would become her biggest Top 40 Pop hit: “Let’s Have A Party.”

Rock journalist Ed Ward, writing in his excellent 2016 book, The History of Rock & Roll, Volume 1, describes Wanda Jackson’s now-legendary talents: “Her powerful, brassy voice could – and did – belt out country music, but she also could – and did – rock like crazy.”

Listen for yourself!


“Let’s Have A Party” was written in 1957 by Jesse Mae Robinson and originally recorded by Elvis Presley for the movie Loving You.

Did you notice Wanda’s guitar in the picture above?

That’s a 1950 Martin D-18 acoustic guitar, hand painted and equipped with a sound-hole pick-up.

Here’s a close-up picture of that instrument, complete with Wanda’s guitar strap, from when it was on display as part of the recent Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.


Happy Birthday, Wanda Jackson! Hope the party is still going strong!

This entry was posted in Posts with Video, This Historic Day In Music and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to This Historic Day In Music: Wanda Jackson

  1. badfinger20 says:

    Love Wanda Jackson’s music… love the guitar.

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