Rockabilly Women Add Spice to Rock and Roll History

By Buster Fayte, Featured Author, SadMansTongue.Com

When you think of rock and roll pioneers, you probably mostly think of men  like Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis,  and others. But women played a significant roll in the early rockabilly  foundation of rock and roll. And these women are all too often overlooked as the  influences that they were.

Wanda Jackson, who holds the title of Queen of Rockabilly comes most  readily to mind, especially since the 2011 release of her “The Party Ain’t Over”  CD which was produced by Jack White. Indeed, Jackson played a pivotal role in  the early rock and roll years. She brought a brash, sassy, sexy new style to pop  music. She wrote many of her own songs, played guitar, and swapped the corny  cowgirl outfits worn by most women country and rockabilly singers of the day for  sultry, tight-fitting dresses and high heels. Jackson’s early rockabilly records  are among the best rockabilly performances by anyone, man or woman.

The name that you most often hear as competition for the Queen of  Rockabilly crown is Janis Martin. Janis was just 15 years old when she cut  a demo song called “Will You, Will Yum.” When RCA heard the demo, they not only  wanted the song, but they wanted the singer too and Martin became a recording  star. That song was her biggest hit, selling over 750,000 copies. The record,  backed by the song “Drugstore Rock and Roll” that Janis wrote herself, made her  a huge draw at concerts throughout the country. Since she shared the same label  as the King, she was given permission to bill herself as the Female Elvis  Presley and she lived up to the moniker!

Lorrie Collins, who together with her little Brother Larry performed under  the name The Collins Kids, was captivatingly beautiful. While little Larry (who  was just around 12 years old) jumped around the stage and wailed on his crazy  double-necked Mosrite guitar (no, Jimmy Page was not the first!),  Lorrie stood at the microphone and delivered the lead vocal with a wonderful  voice, easy grace, and stunning power. She went on to sing duets with Ricky  Nelson and others. And she held a firm spot in teenage hearts all across the  country!

Rose Maddox stepped out of the goofy hillbilly shtick that she and her  brothers performed under the name The Maddox Brothers and Sister Rose to cut  some fantastic rockabilly tracks. When Rose took the stage and hit rockabilly  overdrive, she was a force to be reckoned with.

Sparkle Moore (no relation to Elvis’ guitar player Scotty) cultivated a  dangerous, greaser image with leather jackets and a female pompadour. Listen to  her track “Skull and Crossbones” and you’ll know she was serious.

And of course, there are others who imprinted their unmistakable mark on the  world of rockabilly and rock and roll. And modern women are still getting into  the rockabilly act. The captivating Imelda May shows that the women can still  rock and that there’s still a place in rockabilly for a strong female voice.

Buster Fayte is an author and rockabilly musician. He Blogs at “Buster Fayte’s Rockabilly Romp” where he writes about the passion he shares with millions of musicians and fans for rockabilly and oldies music. Buster has written several books including the “Complete Home Music Recording Start Kit”. He writes original songs, sings, and plays both guitar and bass.

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About Sad Man's Tongue: Rockabilly Bar & Bistro - Prague

We are a Bar and Bistro where old school meets the new school, dedicated to preserving the roots of rock and roll and it's modern adaptations as well as preserving the cultural identity of our neighborhood through our food, the the principles of the slow food movement. A little bit of rockabilly and retro combine with the kustom kulture of today, in an atmosphere devoid of Pretension.
This entry was posted in 1950s, Culture, Elvis, Girls, History, Music, Music History, Retro, Rock n Roll, Rockabilly, Rockabilly Bands & Music, Rockabilly Girl, Wanda Jackson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Rockabilly Women Add Spice to Rock and Roll History

  1. Buster Fayte says:

    Thanks for the repost!

  2. Pingback: Eddie Cochran – "Milk Cow Blues" Live 1960 « Throughhisown's Weblog

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  6. throughhisown says:

    Great photo!

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