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Speaker Box: Wanda Jackson & Migos

Two OKC shows from musical monarchs



 



Almost 15 years ago, on a road trip to Memphis, I stopped by Sun Records/Studio and started chatting with a busload of English tourists, who were absolutely giddy to be at the career birthplace of Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis. As we talked, one in the group mentioned extending the tour to Route 66 and visiting the home of Woody Guthrie and Wanda Jackson.
 

“Wanda Jackson?” I asked. “Yes, the Queen of Rockabilly,” one of them answered. “The female Elvis.”

I knew of Jackson then as an Oklahoman and a contemporary gospel singer, but I honestly didn’t know her full story. When I got back to the 405, I started my research and was blown away by her incredible life journey. Leave it to the Brits to understand and keep her career alive and prosperous.

Texas honky-tonk singer Hank Thompson discovered Wanda Jackson (who was born in Maud, Oklahoma) in the mid-1950s and encouraged her to start singing rockabilly – a hybrid of “hard country” swing music that was the precursor to what we now recognize as rock ‘n’ roll. With her long black hair, hip-shaking sex appeal, glamorous dresses and heels, Jackson became a trendsetter. It wasn’t just her looks, or her songs (“Hard Headed Woman”) but what came out of her mouth, which can only be described as fire. Her vocal style was deep, smoky, angry and intimidating. The story goes that she briefly dated Elvis. I’m saying now that Elvis was scared of her.

Jackson went from rockabilly to traditional country and western to contemporary gospel music until her rockabilly days were rediscovered by British and European fans of retro American music. In the mid-1980s, she was asked to play festivals in England, and she soon claimed a whole new audience of revivalists.

That carried over stateside. Her 1987 record featured guests such as Elvis Costello and The Cramps. Accolades came from Cyndi Lauper and Amy Winehouse. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an Early Influence artist. That same year, she got her “Way” in Bricktown, when they named an alley Wanda Jackson Way. Her comeback was made complete in 2011 with the release of “The Party Ain’t Over,” a collaborative album produced and released by Jack White.

At 80, she is an international treasure, and with her jet-black hair and take-no-prisoners attitude, she comes off like Pat Benatar and Joan Jett’s never-aging stepmother.

Jackson will perform Feb. 17 at the newly refurbished Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd, and tickets are available at ticketfly.com.

 


 

► Hola Migos!


The Fab Three of New School Hip Hop are Back
 

If you think about rap and hip-hop in historical epochs, we are entering the era of “New School Hip Hop.” Typified by lo-fi, simple beats and rapid rap lines (sometimes known as Trap), Atlanta is at the center of all that is happening now.

The Fab Three currently responsible for driving “The ATL” is Migos, three young rappers who formed a supergroup fewer than 10 years ago, and are on the verge of becoming a hip-hop empire. When they last played in OKC a year ago, Russell Westbrook and now-NFL player Joe Mixon were on stage dancing to “Bad and Boujee.” Migos’ 2015 hit, “Look at My Dab,” sparked Cam Newton’s touchdown celebrations and “dabbing” suddenly became a thing that goofy suburban white kids did.

Dubbed “the Fastest Mouths in the South” by Rolling Stone, Quavo, Offset and Takeoff are emerging as influencers who will cast the sound of New Hip-Hop for the rest of the decade. Their second LP, “Culture,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts, and has since gone multi-platinum. Keep an eye on them and enjoy the ride.

Migos returns in concert at the Cox Center Feb. 7. Tickets are available at livenation.com.

 

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Calendar

February 2019

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imaginations run wild as they travel back in time with life-size animatronic dinosaurs along a half-mile...

Where:
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX  75069
View map »


Sponsor: Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
Telephone: 972.562.5566
Contact Name: Stephanie Jennings
Website »

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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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The most adrenaline charged motorsports experience for families on the planet is back - Monster Jam is one of the only sports where male and female world-class drivers, some generational rivals,...

Cost: Tickets start at $15

Where:
Chesapeake Energy Arena
100 W. Reno Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
View map »


Sponsor: FELD Entertainment
Telephone: 800.745.3000
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield
Website »

More information

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Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

JAKE OWEN Multiple chart-topping singer/songwriter Jake Owen’s new single “Down To The Honkytonk” is rapidly climbing the Billboard Country Airplay charts. Owen’s songs...

Cost: $50, $75, $100

Where:
Osage Casino's Skyline Event Center
Tulsa, OK

More information

Show More...
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Through March 2019, Oklahoma Contemporary is partnering with Madison Square Park Conservancy to bring Erwin Redl’s installation Whiteout to Campbell Art Park. Whiteout is comprised of...

Cost: Free

Where:
Campbell Art Park
NW 11th and Broadway
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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