Rockabilly Legend Wanda Jackson Calls It Quits
Wanda Jackson / Facebook
The Time Has Come
For over 60 years, she’s been the reigning queen of all things Rockabilly. She’s graced hundreds of stages around the world, became the first woman to “put glamour into country music” with her fringed dresses, high heels and dangly earrings, and shared the bill with Elvis Presley while on tour – she even dated the King.
Now, Wanda Jackson is gearing up for the next big adventure of her life: retirement.
The 81-year-old Rockabilly legend is officially retired from performing, citing “health and safety” as the basis for her decision. The news came in the form of an announcement shared to social media yesterday, hitting news outlets around the world early this morning and reads:
“After over 60 years of touring, Wanda Jackson wishes to announce her retirement from performing. This retirement is solely based on health and safety. It has been a wild ride. Thank you all for all the years of continued fandom and support. This is not the end, just the beginning of a new chapter. Join us as we congratulate the Queen of Rockabilly on over six decades of rip roaring live performances, priceless stories and countless shimmies.
All of this being said, Wanda will not be making appearances at either Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend nor the Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender. In true rockabilly spirit, please still go out to these shows and keep the spirit of rockabilly alive.”
Born Wanda Lavonne Jackson in 1937, the Maud, Oklahoma native began her career while still in high school after being discovered by Hank Thompson, who heard her singing on a local radio station and was immediately drawn in. A pioneer in every sense of the word, Jackson asked Capitol Records to sign her following the success of 1954’s “You Can’t Have My Love”; when she was told by producer Ken Nelson who told her that “Girls don’t sell records,” Jackson took her talent to Decca Records and never looked back.
If you’re bummed about the First Lady of Rockabilly retiring from performing, don’t be; she stresses that this isn’t the end – not by a long shot. If anything, it’s a brand new beginning of a brand new chapter in one woman’s vibrant and brilliant career, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Ms. Jackson!