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Oklahoma rockabilly queen to earn her Stripes in the studio

BY GENE TRIPLETT Modified: November 14, 2009 at 9:37 am •  Published: November 14, 2009

Oklahoma City’s own "Queen of Rockabilly” was on her way to Nashville on Friday to meet in a recording studio with one of the crowned heads of alternative rock.

Newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson is set to record an album produced by Jack White of the White Stripes, The Oklahoman has learned.

"One of the biggest stars on the planet I guess right now,” she said of White during a phone interview Friday from Denver International Airport, where she was waiting for a flight connection.

The Maud native, 72, was a young country and gospel artist who began singing rockabilly in the 1950s on the advice of her mentor and one-time boyfriend, Elvis Presley.

White, 34, is a Detroit native who founded the White Stripes in 1997 with then-wife Meg White. The duo’s raw, stripped-down garage band sound made them modern rock sensations in the 2000s with albums such as "De Stijl,” "White Blood Cells” and "Elephant,” and a big hit single, "Seven Nation Army.” White also fronts two other alternative rock bands, the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather.

A collaboration between two artists of such differing styles and backgrounds might seem unlikely, but White is known to dabble in many genres, having produced country legend Loretta Lynn’s critically lauded 2004 album, "Van Lear Rose.”

"They had a super album, but he didn’t have her do anything different, you know,” Jackson said.

What’s next?
The rockabilly songbird’s next hometown show will be at 8 p.m. Nov. 21 at 66 Bowl, 6810 NW 39, celebrating the Route 66 landmark’s 50th anniversary.


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