Jackson, Wanda (Lavonne )
- Lisa MacKinney
(b Maud, OK, Oct 20, 1937). American country and rockabilly guitarist, songwriter, and singer. While still in high school, Jackson signed with Decca Records and performed traditional country music on her own radio show on Oklahoma City’s KLPR. She was influenced by Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, and Hank Thompson, who invited her to perform with his band and became a mentor and friend. On one of her earliest tours, in mid-1955, the headline act was Elvis Presley; according to Jackson, he strongly encouraged her to sing and play rock and roll in the style that he, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis were fast popularizing, later known as rockabilly. Addressing the lack of repertoire for women in this new form, Jackson began writing her own material.
Chart success eluded Jackson until she recorded Earl Burrows’s composition “Fujiyama Mama,” which reached number one in Japan in 1958, prompting a lengthy and successful Japanese tour. “Let’s have a party,” released as a single in ...