Rockabilly queen Jackson guides next generation of...

Rockabilly queen Jackson guides next generation of rockers

Pioneer rockabilly artist Wanda Jackson, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an “Early Influence” in 2009, headlined the 10th anniversary edition of the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp at MTSU July 23-28.

Known as the “Queen of Rockabilly,” Jackson toured with Elvis Presley, featured then-session guitarist Buck Owens on her early singles and included then-unknown Roy Clark as part of her band, The Party Timers. Her hits include “Let’s Have a Party,” “Right or Wrong” and “In the Middle of a Heartache.”

More recently, Jackson has collaborated with Jack Black of The White Stripes. White presented Jackson with the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in 2010.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Wanda Jackson performs in MTSU’S Hinton Hall during the Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp July 27. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Jackson performed on campus exclusively for campers, volunteers and camp supporters on July 27 in the T. Earl Hinton Music Hall inside MTSU’s Wright Music Building. The event also was open to members of the public who donated $50 or more to the camp’s scholarship fund.

The Southern Girls Rock & Roll Camp is a service of Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe learning environment for teens to empower them in the arts, life skills, volunteerism and community service, according to a mission statement on its website,

SGRRC is a day camp for girls ages 10 to 17 who want to express themselves musically in a positive, supportive, collaborative atmosphere. With help from experienced, dedicated volunteers, the girls hone their skills on instruments and vocals.

Campers are encouraged to bring their own equipment, but instruments, amplifiers, cords and other items are always provided for those without their own gear.

This year’s workshops focused on songwriting, recording, music photography, screen-printing, DIY arts and crafts, musicTHEIRstory and, for the first time, the science of music.

After jamming together in groups all week long, the campers wrapped up their week by performing for the public in a July 28 showcase.

Visit for more information or for details on the 2013 camp.

— Gina K. Logue (