Route 66 News

Tucumcari festival lands rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson as headliner

The first annual Rockabilly on the Route event in Tucumcari, N.M., has made quite a coup for its entertainment — Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson as its headliner.

Rockabilly on the Route is scheduled for June 7-9, with Jackson as the 9:30 p.m. performer on Saturday. Another rockabilly act, The Chop Tops, open for her.

The festival serves as a fundraiser for the fledgling New Mexico Route 66 Museum in Tucumcari, slated to open this summer. Tickets for the show can be purchase at the event’s website.

If you don’t know about Jackson, here’s a short primer:

Wanda Jackson, who began her illustrious career in the 1950s as one of the first women of rockabilly, is known for her unique vocals in songs such as “Funnel of Love,” “Fujiyama Mama,” and “Let’s Have A Party.” She was an early sweetheart to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Elvis Presley, who mentored her and whose ring she wears around her neck to this day. Jackson has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rockabilly Hall of Fame and received two Grammy Award nominations for her work.

And Jackson was the beneficiary of landing Jack White as a producer on her most recent album, “The Party Ain’t Over” (download here). White revitalized Loretta Lynn’s career about a decade ago; here’s a barn-burner for Jackson he helped lead on David Letterman’s show:

Jackson holds a fondness for Route 66. She played a show at the now-deceased 66 Bowl in Oklahoma City during its 50th anniversary. It was there she had her first date with her future husband.


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