Elvis Presley gave the world some of the most famous rock songs of the 1950s and 1960s. During an interview, a 1950s star mentioned he took career advice from Elvis. This star later became a rock singer.
Elvis Presley told one of his girlfriends to sing rock songs
Wanda Jackson rose to fame in the 1950s as a country singer. In a 2017 interview with FoxNews, she said she dated Elvis for about a year. She revealed how the king of rock ‘n’ roll tried to convince her to change her career trajectory.
“What Elvis did for me gave me the courage to sing this new music, like he did,” Jackson recalled. “I was like, ‘I can’t do this, Elvis, because I’m just a country singer! Besides, I’m a girl. I can’t sing this thing. And he said, ‘I know you could if you tried.’ He made me promise I would try.
Jackson explained how she reacted to calls from Elvis. “I kept my promise,” she said. “When I moved to Capitol Records, that’s when I recorded one of my first rock ‘n’ roll songs, ‘I Gotta Know’. It was written especially for me. It has a bit of a country kickoff.
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Wanda Jackson said ‘I Gotta Know’ was a ‘transition song’
“I Gotta Know” was not a huge hit. the Billboard Hot 100 didn’t exist yet, so there was no chart. The Official Map Company reports that the song did not chart in the UK. Either way, Jackson said “I Gotta Know” was a career milestone.
“It was a transition song for me,” Jackson told Fox News. “I recorded a lot of rock ‘n’ roll songs. It mostly had to be covers because no one thought a girl’s point of view would sell… I started writing stuff and they all did well… Seems like I always had to be pushed a little.
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Wanda Jackson paid tribute to Elvis Presley at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Jackson’s decision to sing rock ‘n’ roll paid off. In 2009, she was inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame for being an early influence on rock ‘n’ roll music. This makes her one of the few rock singers to be so honored. Jackson is also one of the few country music singers to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
During her acceptance speech, Jackson said she would not have made it through without the help of many others. She thanked Elvis for his advice. Jackson even said she could feel his presence in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Jackson became a rock ‘n’ roll legend and she might not have sung rock ‘n’ roll songs without Elvis’ encouragement.
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