As one of the first female rock ’n’ roll singers, Wanda Jackson should be regularly saluted by everyone from Patti Smith to Lady Gaga.
Yet Jackson, who toured with and dated Elvis Presley, is known only to the most hardcore music fans.
That may change with her newest album, “The Party Ain’t Over,” thanks to the White Stripes’ Jack White, who produced and played guitar on it.
amNewYork spoke with Jackson about the unlikely collaboration.
How did you wind up getting to know Jack White?
I was kicking around the idea of doing a duets album and a woman I know said, “If you do it, be sure you talk to Jack White, because he’s a big fan of yours.” Jack said he wouldn’t do a duet, but he would be interested in recording me.
Were you familiar with his work?
I wasn’t — I just knew he was one of the hottest stars on the planet. I figured, as hot as his career is, I would be a fool not to take advantage of his talent.
What was it like working with him?
He pushed and pushed until he got what he wanted from me. He’d say, “Put more into it. Give me that Wanda Jackson, the 18-year-old that’s still in you.” I told him later, “You pushed and pushed until you pushed me into the 21st century.” He said, “That was my intention. I didn’t want to change you or your style of singing; I just wanted to give you a fresh sound and fresh material.”
Is it true that Elvis pushed you to move from singing country to rock and rockabilly?
That was his contribution to my career. He taught me how to sing the kind of songs he was singing. I didn’t think I could do it. He just kept encouraging me.
If you go: Wanda Jackson is performing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg Friday with Jack White and the Third Man House Band. 66 N. Sixth St., 718-486-5400, $30