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Wanda Jackson

With the Lustre Kings. Thursday, June 22, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Wanda Jackson
  • Wanda Jackson
In the '50s, every girl in America wanted to be Elvis Presley's girl -- the line of seniors crying into their handkerchiefs at Graceland proves that -- but few got close enough to love him tender; Wanda Jackson was one of the lucky ones. Breaking onto the Decca label while still in high school, she made her first tour with a package featuring the King, and from that point it was matinee movies and malts for two.

Jackson scored an international hit with "Fujiyama Mama," cementing her as a legend in Japan. Stateside, her most memorable single was the rockabilly shuffle "Let's Have a Party," originally recorded by her former beau. Now happily married, Jackson has come to reclaim her rock-and-roll crown and sash, giving a nod to Elvis as she does so. her newest record, I Remember Elvis, features interpretations of Presley hits like "Heartbreak Hotel," but this is far from Memphis nostalgia. A living legend, Jackson was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts, but don't stand her in a wax museum -- the woman can still break hearts.

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