Wanda Jackson “The Queen of Rockabilly,” will perform in Grass Valley tonight during a concert presented by (((FolkYEAH!))) and the Center for the Arts.
Jackson, now in her 70s, is credited with being the first woman to ever record a rock and roll song — “Let’s Have a Party” in 1958.
In 2009, Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and, in 2010, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Music Awards.
Jackson was only halfway through high school when, in 1954, country singer Hank Thompson heard her on an Oklahoma City radio show and asked her to record with his band, the Brazos Valley Boys.
By the end of the decade, Jackson had become one of America’s first major female country and rockabilly singers.
Jackson’s newest album, “Unfinished Business” available on Sugar Hill Records, is the legendary performer’s 31st studio album.
The record marks the producing debut of fellow renowned musician and songwriter Justin Townes Earle.
In addition, a special 7 inch of the album’s first single, “Tore Down” (with b-side “California Stars”), features artwork and packaging by Shooter Jennings.
“From day one, I really liked Justin’s idea to take me back to my roots and make a record of country, blues, and rockabilly songs. The band was extra tight and great to work with during the whole process.
“The record just sounds terrific and I’m hoping that my fans enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it,” said Jackson of working with Earle.
Recorded in Nashville at House of David Studios in early 2012, the 10-song album features renditions of “California Stars” (Woody Guthrie, Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy), “Pushover” (Billy Davis and Tony Clarke), “It’s All Over Now” (Bobby Womack and Shirley Jean Womack) as well as a duet with Earle on “Am I Even A Memory.”
The new album follows on the heels of Jackson’s critically acclaimed 2011 Jack White-produced recording, “The Party Ain’t Over.”
With the recording, Jackson enjoyed her first ever charting on the Billboard 200 chart, peaking at No. 58.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $30 for members of the Center, $35 for the general public and are available at the Center’s Box Office in person, by phone at 530-274-8384 ext. 14, online at www.thecenterforthearts.org or at BriarPatch Co-op.