Wanda LaVonne Jackson (born October 20, 1937) is an American singer and songwriter. Since the 1950s, she has recorded and released music in the genres of rock, country and gospel. She was among the first women to have a career in rock and roll, recording a series of 1950s singles that helped give her the nickname "The Queen of Rockabilly". She is also counted among the first female stars in the genre of country music.
Jackson began performing as a child and later had her own radio show in Oklahoma City. She was then discovered by country singer Hank Thompson, who helped her secure a recording contract with Decca Records in 1954. At Decca, Jackson had her first hit single with the country song "You Can't Have My Love". She then began touring the following year with Elvis Presley. The two briefly dated and Presley encouraged her to record in the Rockabilly style. In 1956, Jackson signed with Capitol Records where she was given full permission to record both country and Rockabilly. The label released a string of Jackson's rock singles, including "Fujiyama Mama", "Mean Mean Man" and the top 40 hit "Let's Have a Party".
In the 1960s, Jackson moved back to the country genre and had several charting singles during the decade. This included "Right or Wrong", "In the Middle of a Heartache", "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine" and "A Woman Lives for Love". In addition, she also recorded several selections for the German language market overseas. In 1965, the German single "Santo Domingo" reached number one on the Austrian pop chart. After re-discovering Christianity in 1971, Jackson made gospel music a priority in her career. She left Capitol Records in 1973 and signed with Word Records to focus more on the gospel circuit. Over the next two decades, she released a series of gospel discs.
In 1984, Jackson was sought out by European promoters to tour overseas. The same year, she released her first rock album in two decades and launched a new career in the genre. In the 1990s, her rock records were noticed again by American audiences and she began touring alongside fellow Rockabilly artist Rosie Flores. During this period, she released several commercially acclaimed albums in the rock and roll style, including Heart Trouble (2003) and I Remember Elvis (2006). Following her 2009 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jackson collaborated with musician Jack White to record the commercially successful The Party Ain't Over. For several years, she kept a busy touring schedule before announcing her retirement from performing in 2019. She released her final studio project in 2021.
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