Wanda Jackson (Wanda Jean Jackson)
Photos with Wanda Jackson
BiographyMaud, Oklahoma, USA
Singer/songwriter Wanda Jean Jackson has enjoyed a long and successful music career which encompasses such diverse genres as country, gospel, and rockabilly. Wanda was born on October 20, 1937 in Maud, Oklahoma. Her father Tom was a former country singer who had to quit music because of the Great Depression. Jackson got her first guitar from her dad while living in California from 1941 to 1947. At age 12 Wanda and her family moved back to Oklahoma City. She won a local talent show contest in 1952 and got her own radio show on KLPR, which she hosted while attending high school. Read more... Jackson recorded several songs with the country group The Brazos Valley Boys in the 1950's; her duet "You Can't Have My Love" with band leader Billy Gray was a #8 country hit in 1954. Wanda met Elvis Presley while touring the country in 1956; Presley encouraged her to start recording rockabilly songs. Jackson's rousing "Fujiyama Mama" was a huge smash in Japan; it remained at #1 on the radio charts for six weeks. The equally stirring "Let's Have a Party" likewise did well; it peaked at #37 on the US pop charts in 1960. The touching ballads "Right or Wrong" and "In the Middle of a Heartache" were top 10 country hits in the early 1960's. Wanda's other country hits include "Tears Will Be the Chaser for Your Wine," "Both Sides of the Line," "A Girl Don't Have to Drink to Have Fun," "A Woman Lives for Love," and "Fancy Satin Pillows." In 1966 Jackson had a #1 hit in Germany with "Santo Domingo," which she sang entirely in German. In 1971 Wanda and her manager husband Wendell Goodman became borne-again Christians; Jackson subsequently has recorded several gospel albums and has performed gospel songs at churches. In 1995 Jackson sang two duets with alternative country singer Rosie Flores on Flores' album "Rockabilly Filly." She has been twice nominated for Grammy Awards and was awarded the Oklahoma Native Daughter Award. Moreover, Wanda has been inducted into the Oklahoma Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, and the German Country Music Hall of Fame. Now in her 70's, Wanda Jackson still continues to tour and perform all over the world.