Wanda Jackson, the Oklahoma-born pioneer of rockabilly music who is still going strong in her 60th year in show business, will perform her first solo concert in three years in her hometown of Oklahoma City from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday at The Greens County Club, 13100 Green Valley Drive.
The outdoor show will benefit the SHINE (Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere) Foundation, created to support programs that encourage youth volunteerism and community service.
The event is being organized by Clarke Harris, whose happy hour events benefit local charities. Harris has arranged the venue and performance facilities at no cost to the SHINE Foundation.
“Wanda Jackson is an Oklahoma legend, and we are proud that she has offered to help boost the efforts of the Shine Foundation with this concert,” said Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan, who created the SHINE program in 2010, in a news release.
Originally an alternative sentencing community service program for offenders, SHINE has grown to include Students for SHINE, which awards a graduation cord and certificate to high school and college students who complete at least 100 hours of volunteer work. Since its inception, the program has resulted in some 200,000 hours of such work, according to the release.
“SHINE for Students and other programs connected to SHINE cannot be funded by tax dollars, so we created the SHINE Foundation to help,” Maughan said in the release.
He said Tyler Media Group has offered a $25,000 matching grant for the concert.
A Maud native, Jackson first caught the attention of country music legend Hank Thompson in 1954 when she was still a student at Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City. She made her first records that year and embarked on a 60-year career that saw her tour with (and date) Elvis Presley. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in 2009.
Jackson continues to tour and perform, most recently with Merle Haggard on the West Coast. She has not done a solo show in her hometown in more than three years, and agreed to help the SHINE Foundation with this special event.
Jackson’s 31 albums span six decades and include rock, country and gospel styles. Her husband, Wendell Goodman, whom she married in 1961, serves as her manager.
“Wanda has caught the eye of a lot of young people in recent years,” Harris, the event coordinator, said in the release. “She is one of the last links to a special era in music who is still performing. This will be a rare musical event for Oklahoma City and we look forward to welcoming a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Greens on May 15.”
A $10 donation to the SHINE Foundation is requested at the door, with larger donations gratefully accepted. In case of inclement weather, the stage will be moved into the club’s ballroom.
For more information, call 713-2379.