Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 10, 2009
Sen. Harry Coates introduces music legend Wanda Jackson to the
Senate. Also pictured is her
husband Wendell Goodman, Sen. Steve Russell and Sen. Charlie Laster.
Wanda Jackson thanks the Senate for the recognition. Also
pictured are Senators
Steve Russell, Charlie Laster and Harry Coates.
Senate Honors Queen of Rockabilly Wanda
The State Senate honored the country’s first
female Rock and Roll singer Tuesday. Senate Resolution 6 congratulated
Wanda Jackson on her lifetime of success in the music industry
as well as being the first Oklahoma woman to be inducted into
the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame.
“Mrs. Jackson is an amazing talent who has had an incredible
career. She’s a musical pioneer who has touched the lives
of so many with her music,” said Sen. Harry Coates, R-Seminole.
“She has made her state, and especially the folks in Seminole
and Pottawatomie Counties, very proud; and we wish her all the
best in her future endeavors.”
SR 6 was authored by Senators Harry Coates and Charlie Laster
who represent Jackson’s hometown of Maud.
“Oklahoma is a hotspot for musical talent and Mrs. Jackson
is one of our greatest examples of that,” said Laster, D-Shawnee.
“She helped blaze a trail for women in the music industry
and proved they could be tremendously successful. She’s
a great ambassador for our state, and we’re very happy for
Jackson and her husband now live in south Oklahoma represented
by Senator Steve Russell who also coauthored the resolution.
“What a pleasure it is to get to honor and recognize one
of music’s most versatile and accomplished singers,”
said Russell, R-Oklahoma City. “I really admire the fact
that she has continued to use her gift in gospel music and share
that blessing with others.”
Besides getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
the First Lady Rock is also a member of the Oklahoma Music Hall
of Fame, the Oklahoma Country Music Hall of Fame, and the International
Gospel Hall of Fame.
While on the floor, Jackson recognized her special guests Beth
Seim, the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame,
and Evelyn Hibbs, the Secretary of the Board of the Oklahoma Music
Hall of Fame. After the floor presentation, Jackson expressed
her gratitude for the recognition.
‘This is really something. I’m very humbled. I didn’t
expect anything like this,” said Jackson. “I’m
very flattered and grateful for making all of this possible for
me. The Oklahoma Senate is wonderful, and it was nice getting
to thank and meet everyone in person.”
Jackson’s career began in 1952 when she won a local talent
contest and was rewarded with her own 15- minute radio program
on Oklahoma City radio station KLPR, which was later lengthened
to 30 minutes. 1n 1954 at the age of 15, Jackson was discovered
by Hank Thompson who heard the program. She began recording with
Thompson’s band, the Brazos Valley Boys. Her first big hit
was “You Can’t Have My Love”, a duet with Billy
Gray, Hank Thompson’s band leader.
By the end of the 1950s Jackson was the country’s first
major female country and rockabilly singer. In 1958, she was the
first woman to record a rock and roll song, “Let’s
Have a Party”, which was one of eight songs nominated last
year to compete as the Oklahoma state rock song. She continued
touring through the 1970s during which time she was nominated
for two Grammys. She then turned to gospel music of which she
is still involved in today.