Talk about a love story for the history books—the rock ‘n’ roll history books.
We knew the Queen of Rockabilly, Wanda Jackson, had a thing with the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but we never quite knew how serious these two were until now.
Wanda recently released a memoir titled “Every Night is Saturday Night,” and in it, she talks about her rise to fame, pushing boundaries and, of course, her relationship with Elvis Presley.
What makes it so exciting is that the love affair between the two took place before they were big stars.
Wanda was a young singer living in Oklahoma with a couple of records under her belt. She was making her way in music, but not easily because she was a woman, and a young woman at that. When she “came of age,” she signed a deal with Capitol Records and, after graduating high school, she was ready to go on the road.
Wanda told Fox News that when she traveled, her father went with her.
“I’m an only child, so daddy decided he should go with me,” she said in the interview. It was 1955.
The first couple of nights of touring, she was playing shows with a guy she’d never heard of—a guy named Elvis Presley.
Immediately, Elvis and Wanda hit it off. The two were very fond of each other and it wasn’t long before they were officially courting.
“He asked me to be his girl, and I had his ring,” Wanda revealed. “I wore it around my neck for about a year.”
But it was a tricky situation. At the time Elvis was living in Tennessee, while Wanda was in Oklahoma.
The two were only able to spend time together on the road. Wanda said that normally, her father wouldn’t let her go out with the guys. But Elvis was different.
“He liked Elvis really well,” she said of her father. “He knew Elvis was a gentleman. So he would let me go out with Elvis to a movie or for a burger afterwards. Then it wasn’t long until he became so popular that we couldn’t go out after the show. When they would see that pink Cadillac, they knew Elvis was in there. So it got hard to get together.”
Wanda said they continued dating until the early part of 1957, before Elvis went to Hollywood to start his film career.
But she still has Elvis’ ring.
“I have it! My mother made sure she held on to it for me,” Wanda said. “She figured I wouldn’t keep it or something, but she did. She’s got a little note in there and it says it was given to me by Elvis in 1955.”
For Wanda, Elvis was a young love, but also a great friend and teacher who opened up the door for rock ‘n’ roll in her music. That helped set her apart from all the other women of her day and led to her title as the undisputed Queen of Rockabilly.
“I have to admit, I had a good teacher,” she said. “Once I recorded rock ‘n’ roll, I loved it. I knew I could do it. After I tried it, I thought ‘Boy, I found a home!’”