Wanda Jackson On Opening For Elvis, Rockabilly & Pursuing Your Dreams
79-year-old Wanda Jackson paved the way for women in music. She's been rocking stages across the world for over sixty years with her style of Americana-meets-Rockabilly music – and it all started with Elvis. This Oklahoma belle began performing back in 1955, when women in music weren't the norm. But, music was always Wanda's passion. In fact, she signed her first record contract as a junior in high school. "If you have an idea of what you want for yourself – do it! And, if you don't get thrown in jail, you'll be fine." That same year, Wanda went on tour with Elvis, even dating him briefly before he went on to Hollywood. Audiences everywhere tell Wanda that her voice takes them straight back to the 50's, with its smooth soul and rockabilly sound. Back then, as Wanda says, rock and roll music didn't really have a name. "It was just called 'Elvis' kind of music'," she laughed. She's brought so much recognition and honor to her home state that, in 2009, Oklahoma City named an alley for her in Bricktown. She's also got a street named after her – Wanda Jackson Boulevard – in Maud. We also love this fringed sweetheart for her distinct style that set her apart from the "gingham dresses and bows" of other female country singers of her decade. Watch along to see how Wanda has won hearts across the South.