The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum


wanda jackson :: Blog

Today in Rock: Wanda Jackson is Born

Thursday, October 20: 9 a.m.
Wanda Jackson

The rockabilly field of the 1950s wasn’t exactly crowded with female performers, but Wanda Jackson didn’t let that stop her from making her mark. Born on October 20, 1937, she emerged from a small town in Oklahoma to become the first Queen of Rockabilly. With encouragement from Elvis Presley, whom she met while on a package tour in 1955, Jackson moved from country music to rock and roll. "I was just doing straight country, and that's all I had ever planned on doing. [Elvis] started talking to me about his kind of music – we didn't really have a name for it at that point," said Jackson during a 2009 Hall of Fame series interview with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Vice President of Education and Public Programs Lauren Onkey. "I said look, I love it of course, but you're a guy, you can sing it, and I just don't think I can do it. He just kept insisting that I could do it – he said, 'you got the voice.' He took me out to his home in Memphis, and we played records that afternoon. 

"He made me promise that somewhere along ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews

The personal stories are always the best ones

Wednesday, July 13: 2:34 p.m.
Posted by Sarah Dougher

Guest blog courtesy of 2011 Summer Teacher Institute participant Sarah Dougher, educator at Portland State University and at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland.

One thing about exploring the history of women is that in order to tell these important stories, the personal is made public, and the personal often becomes political. Although this is an old saw, it sings a new tune when we are talking about the materials in the Women who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power exhibit. Upon seeing Wanda Jackson’s dress, a kind of shabby-looking red, white and blue number hanging next to her hand-decorated guitar, our tour guide mentioned that when the museum had asked Jackson for items to display, she didn’t have many dresses from the early period.  She explained that her mom made all her dresses by hand, and because they were poor, would often recycle elements, such as fringe and rhinestones, in dress after dress. 

What we saw displayed at the museum were elements that may have graced the famous dress that did not cover her shoulders when she first played at the Grand Ole Opry. She was forced by the host to wear a jacket on stage ...


continue Categories: Education

These Women Rock

Monday, May 23: 4:56 p.m.
Inductees Darlene Love and Wanda Jackson plus Cyndi Lauper attend the Women Who Rock opening.

This past week the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened its new exhibit devoted to telling the story of some of rock and roll’s most iconic artists to rave reviews. The Wall Street Journal called Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power “thoroughly entertaining” and the Huffington Post said “It’s a must-see.” Here’s a look back at opening night from Meredith Rutledge, who lead the exhibit’s curation.

The opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s new Women Who Rock was a grand series of “wow” moments that are difficult to put into words. The first happened when Darlene Love looked at her section in the new inductee exhibit and then her display in the Women Who Rock exhibit.  If that wasn’t a big enough thrill, I was lucky enough to witness Darlene, Cyndi Lauper and Wanda Jackson all meeting for the first time. The three legends hugged and traded compliments with laughter and tears. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, inductee Ronnie Spector made a surprise appearance on the main stage, grabbing the microphone. I thought my head was going to explode when I saw Darlene step over ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inductee, Exhibit, Exclusive Interviews, Event

Wanda Jackson: Live from Oklahoma City

Monday, January 31: 10:25 a.m.
Posted by Terry Stewart
Wanda Jackson at the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

I'm just back from a great trip to Oklahoma City to see Wanda Jackson. Wanda and her husband Wendell invited me down to her homecoming concert at the ACM@UCO. It was a great celebration of her fantastic new album, The Party Ain't Over, produced by Jack White. The album is exploding everywhere. It’s wonderful to see Wanda getting so much attention—she’s appeared on The Conan O’Brien Show, The David Letterman Show, and was the subject of a wonderful New York Times profile last week. Since being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, she’s hasn’t rested on her laurels—she’s out there breaking new ground under Jack White’s guidance as a producer. Wanda told me how much she enjoyed working with Jack (she calls him the “velvet brick”)--she was especially happy with the band and the horn section that he put together for her.

I had the great privilege of introducing Wanda at the show, which gave me a chance to talk about how much she’s meant to me since I first heard “Fujiyama Mama.” It was a high energy show--Wanda looked ...


continue Categories: Inductee
Page 1 of 1.