Wanda Jackson

Posted June 8, 2005 - It's hard to capture what Wanda Jackson first meant to me as I delved into my beginnings, my "roots" in the genre of rockabilly/rock-n-roll. She was overwhelming... something not to be touched as I worked on my own sound: too completely "there", too fully realized, too much of a "source", to begin copying 'till later, when I'd paid my own dues...
           She was completely wild and a force like no other woman dared to be (during that cultural strangle-hold on female verve known as "the 1950's"). But she so naturally WAS !! And boy did she own it. Right from the get-go, and as a teenager, her class- mates screaming:  "Hot Dog !" over and over, for the song "Hot Dog, That Made Him Mad", right there in the school's assembly after the principle had forbidden her to sing that particularly scandalous song on school premises.
           So realized, so self-confidently and purely ALIVE ...with that God-given raw talent ! Unafraid to be - naturally, and totally - female. And yet, for the time, she was so ultimately, "Bad Girl".
           Of course she had her contemporaries, those other pioneers like Etta James, Ruth Brown, Aretha Franklin ... and a little later: Dusty Springfield, Janis Joplin and on down the line. When did it become OK for females to bad AND cool ? (In other words, to be real ?)
           Can't say. All's I know is Wanda Jackson got the ball rolling, and the rest of us "Bad Girls" owe her.
           -Gail Lloyd, lead singer for Gail & The Tricksters - nashtricksters@homtail.com
           To learn more about the "First Lady of Rock'n'Roll", visit: www.wandajackson.com

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