ACL Music Fest Saturday Interviews

The party ain't over

ACL Music Fest Saturday Interviews
Photo by Gary Miller

Wanda Jackson

5:45pm, Austin Ventures stage

Austin's always been good to Wanda Jackson. The Queen of Rockabilly has long had a home on South Congress at the Continental Club, which of late has been her birthday headquarters. And since the beginning of 2011, the 73-year-old Jackson has seen her profile raised considerably with her Jack White-produced new disc, The Party Ain't Over.

With White on board, renewed attention was sure to come for Jackson, long-revered as a pioneering female rock & roll singer as well as onetime girlfriend of Elvis Presley. This summer she's performed at festivals throughout North America, including Bonnaroo and the Newport Folk Festival, and most recently she's on tour with Adele.

"I was wondering if her fans would accept me," admits Jackson, "and so far I've been getting standing ovations. That's not bad."

That mutual admiration and respect was a major theme in her collaboration with White, whom she speaks of in glowing terms.

"I gave him free reign to pick almost all the songs," she says. "I got in about three that I wanted to do, but I needed his input. If I was going to work with someone as creative and talented as he is, then I think I should let them do their thing.

"There was that Amy Winehouse song ["You Know I'm No Good"] that I did that I was a bit leery of. He assured me that my fans would like it; that was my main concern. I told him I wouldn't sing one of the verses, and he rewrote it for me so I could sing it. Now I'm doing it every night in concert and loving it. It's good to stretch yourself a bit. I've never been afraid of that."

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READ MORE
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