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Digital Subscriptions > Vintage Rock > Sep/Oct 2019 > WANDA JACKSON 10 CLASSIC PERFORMANCES


Now that’s she’s retired from live work, we look back at the most electrifying performances from the Queen Of Rockabilly

At the grand old age of 81 Wanda Jackson has chosen to hang up her boots and box up her infamously flamboyant touring wardrobe. A hero to many stars that followed including Bob Dylan (who dubbed her the “Hurricane in Lipstick”), Cyndi Lauper, Imelda May, Adele and numerous others, Wanda’s career has had many varied highlights. Plenty of storming performances are missed out here, from the incendiary Mean Mean Man on Town Hall Party to the serene Right Or Wrong on vinyl, but nonetheless, here we handpick 10 of her finest, fieriest and funniest performances on stage, on record and on television – chosen from across the length and breadth of her incredible career.

1 I Gotta Know Augumented by some superb fretting from ace guitarist Joe Maphis, Bakersfield stars Buck Owens and Lewis Talley, and pedal steel legend (and country music giant) Ralph Mooney, Wanda Jackson’s career shot into orbit via this debut slice of wax, a piece of sophisticated country rockin’ penned by Thelma Blackmon – the talented mother of one of Wanda’s friends. Cleverly showing off both her country side and her emerging rockabilly persona via some canny tempo shifts, I Gotta Know made the Top 20 in the Billboard country listings immediately. Perhaps most importantly, it was during the single recording session that her trademark growl was born – aired live to America on 50s TV show Town Hall Party.

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About Vintage Rock

In this issue of Vintage Rock we enter the riotous world of Wanda Jackson. She's finally just hung up her touring boots this year aged 81, so we decided it was time to honour the Queen Of Rockabilly's tenure at the top from her incredible rise to glory as both a country and rockabilly star to her greatest ever performances – "It's been a wild ride!" Little Miss Dynamite goes out with a bang! We got the exclusive on Brenda Jackson's retirement too! In our candid interview Brenda remembers her spectacular career, from rubbing shoulders with Elvis to surviving the British Invasion intact. It's been 60 years since the storming debut album that positioned Cliff Richard as the UK's own Elvis – with The Drifters in support – we remember a raw classic. It's also been 60 years since rock'n'roll was hit with it's first major scandal. Inside we get to the bottom of the infamous 'Payola Scandal', the real rock'n'roll swindle in which the scene's major players had to face the music. From villains to heroes, we talk to Memphis Mafia man Jerry Schilling about his days with Elvis and the upcoming 'Elvis In Concert' tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus we speak to instrumental hero Johnny Farina, one half of duo Santo & Johnny, about their timeless hit 'Sleepwalk'. Bringing things up to date, we chat with Darrel Higham about his new album Bop Machine, we met Nick Lowe, who tells about his new project with masked marauders Los Straitjackets, and we review Stray Cats long-awaited return to the London stage – and what a night it was! Plenty more besides from fresh talent and rockin' weekenders to news, reviews and more!