Photo: Rebecca Sapp/WireImage
Rockabilly's Wanda Jackson Retires From Performing At 81
Wanda Jackson shared "her retirement from performing" over social media on March 26. "This retirement is solely based on health and safety," her message read. "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."
Born in 1937, by the time she graduated high school in Oklahoma City, Jackson had hosted a local radio show for years. Her stylistic range included pop, country and rockabilly and her friend and rock-mentor Elvis Presley encouraged her to follow his lead. Her outfits also helped establish a frillier side of country fashion. Jackson's eponymous 1958 debut album included her full range, but her cover in 1970 of Presley's "Let's Have A Party" set the direction of the public performances she continued until her retirement message, more than 60 years later.
Wanda Jackson's 2011 album The Party Ain't Over was produced by Jack White, which followed the more stripped-down sound of her 2012 follow-up Unfinished Business. While her public appearances as a performer have come to an end, it is reasonable to believe this is an artist with more unfinished business ahead.