RockabillyView – Ferocious Females in Rockabilly


Ferocious Females in Rockabilly
By Jennifer Allsup

Early pioneers of Rockabilly didn’t always run completely smooth. Women started
making great strides in the early 50’s to be recognized for their talents. These women had
the ambition to succeed in this genre of music.

Women like Lorrie Collins started young and were very skilled. She started playing with her little brother Larry. A bit down the road Lorrie started dating Ricky Nelson for a short time, until she met Johnny Cash’s manager Stu Carrell and they got married. Lorrie has the hit “Mercy” back in 1958.

Charline Arthur was another women with impact. She stood out from your basic stereotype female performer. Charline traveled with a medicine show playing eight different instruments. Women wore dresses on stage when performing back in those days, but not Charline. Pants seemed to be more fitting for her style. She had the moves before Elvis came along, shakin’ that leg and thrusting her hips. Charline would sing rolling around on the stage floor. Sadly. Charline never made it into the mainstream of Rockabilly despite all her efforts. She continued to keep recording various songs like “Hello Baby”.

Oh, the talents of a young Latina singer Rosie Flores. With a background of Western
Swing and honky tonk it all made perfect since she was from Texas. Rosie¨ was
in a cow punk band called Screaming Sirens¨ before she embarked on her solo career.
“Crying Over You” put Rosie on the charts in country in 1987. Today, Rosie continues
to perform and produce her music.

One of my most favorites and possibly yours too is Wanda Jackson¨ The Queen of
Rockabilly. Wanda was born in Oklahoma moved to Bakersfield Ca. and she played up and down the central valley and discovered the music of Bob Wills and others. In 1952, her family moved back to Oklahoma where Wanda met and was mentored Elvis Presley who suggested that she sing Rockabilly. They dated briefly.

In the past couple of years Wanda recorded with Jack White who is a musical entrepreneur that is kicking butt with musical adventurers. Wanda and her stage presences has not changed. She is still tearing it up with her performances.

Remember, women are powerful, whether in music. motherhood or any another task we take on. More and more women are becoming part of the music industry either on stage or behind the scenes. Support Women in Music.

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