Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wanda Jackson

On Oct. 21st I saw the amazing Wanda Jackson live in concert at the Oneida Casino Lounge in Green bay, WI. If you aren't familiar with Wanda Jackson she is considered the Queen of Rock 'n Roll. She wrote her own music, dated Elvis Presley and toured with a bi-racial band in the 50s, all while sporting a fringe dress, high heels and glamorous updos. In short, she kicked ass and took names! The woman is in her 70s now and she still rocks with the best of them.

Ms. Jackson has been the subject of numerous documentaries, most notably in Welcome to the Club and the recent Smithsonian Channel program The Sweet Lady with the Nasty Voice. Wanda also finally got recognition from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Early Influence category. If you go to the RnR Hall of Fame page they have a timeline of her accomplishments and recommended tracks and reading lists. If you don't have any of her music, do yourself a favor and get some. To make it easy for you here are some of my personal favorites for sale on Amazon:

I myself have a keen interest in Wanda Jackson as I sing in my own rockabilly band, Sidecar Steph & the 7-10 Split, and will be writing my Masters thesis on women in rockabilly music. I am sure you can guess that Wanda is a large part of my research. There are many resources available online if you would like to learn more about her. Wanda's own website has a great biography.

The best way to get to know Wanda Jackson is through her music. Below is a widget that will play samples of some of her hits. Just press the forward arrow button to move to the next song:

If you get a chance to see her live, DO IT! Don't walk, run to the nearest concert. Unfortunately, her website isn't always as up to date as it could be because her husband does it and he also tours with her so he doesn't always get the chance. A google search for Wanda and your city (or the closest largest city) will let you know if she is coming. You can also sign up for her newsletter on her Tour Dates page. She usually tours with another great rockabilly band called the Lustre Kings and they are amazing as well. It's like getting a double whammy to see her live with this band.

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