Wanda Jackson Celebrates Her 70th by Rockin' the Cadillac Lounge
In the middle of a North American tour that'd tire a 17-year-old, the Queen of Rockabilly, Ms Wanda Jackson showed no sign of slowing down as she celebrated her 70th birthday on stage at the Cadillac Lounge last night.
This was the first of two back-to-back shows Wanda is playing at the Caddy (the heart of all things rockabilly in Toronto) and she held nothing back for the Friday show. In return, she was welcomed by balloons and tributes, a surprise audience rendition of Happy Birthday when the clock struck midnight and even some Cadillac birthday cake when she returned to the stage for an encore.
When I wasn't rippin' it up (as Wanda would say) on my barstool, I (as usual) was snapping some photos. Here are some highlights from the show:
On guitar or shakin' a chicken with microphone in hand, Wanda played all her hits, along with some rock n roll standards made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis and, of course, Elvis Presley.
In between it all, there were plenty of stories about her days touring with (and dating) Elvis, breaking ground in rock n roll when there were no other women doing it, and even jokes about how on earth she went #1 in Japan.
Wanda thanked the younger generation for the newfound success of her b-side track, Funnel of Love. It's grown wildly popular in recent years, making it's way onto the radio and into soundtracks for movies like, But I'm a Cheerleader.
Then, yes, there was the birthday cake, candles and the aforementioned singing -- which was impressively in key for a midnight bar crowd.
Pictured here, Cadillac Lounge owner, Sam Grosso, wishes Wanda a happy birthday before she leaves the stage to sign CD's and 8x10's (oldschool goodness) out on the back patio.
If you didn't squeeze your way into the packed show last night, tonight is all about second chances.
Tickets are $25 at the door. I'd recommend getting there early if you want to be able to see the Queen.
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