Elvis Presleys girlfriend only dated the King because of her father

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Elvis Presley was regularly touring the USA in the 1950s, and the young star was quickly making a name for himself. But he always tried to remain a gentlemanly Mississippi boy at heart. And one early tour had him teaming up with American singer Wanda Jackson – a young woman he instantly fell for her.

Wanda had just left high school to pursue her country music career hopes and dreams. So, when she was asked to join Elvis’ tour, she was thrilled. She toured the USA with Elvis from 1955 to 1956, where they spent a lot of time together – but were almost never alone.

She recalled: “After I graduated from high school, I had a couple of songs by that time. I was ready to go on tour.”

So Wanda hit the road with Elvis, his entourage, and her father, Tom Jackson.

At 18-years-old, Wanda was not allowed to be left alone as a young singer on the road, her father thought. She didn’t mind, though. She recalled: “I’m an only child, so daddy decided he should go with me. So for the first couple of nights, we toured with a guy named Elvis Presley. I’ve never heard of him. That was in 1955.” (Via Fox News)

Eventually, she became interested in Elvis, as well. But, naturally, Wanda’s father became the issue between the young lovers.

Wanda remembered that she wasn’t usually allowed to spend time with boys. But where Elvis was concerned, it was different.

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Wanda said: “My daddy travelled with me. He wouldn’t let me go out with guys usually. But he liked Elvis really well.”

Between gigs and before and after performing, Elvis and Wanda spent a lot of time together, performing their songs with one another, and generally hanging out. Eventually, Elvis’ manners and constant politeness urged her father to let the two date seriously. 

She continued: “He knew Elvis was a gentleman. So he would let me go out with Elvis to a movie or for a burger afterwards.”

Things eventually got extremely serious between the two singers, to the point where Elvis was ready to commit to Wanda.

At the time, young men would gift young women rings to wear around their necks in order to signify how serious their pre-marital tryst had become.

Wanda recalled Elvis giving her one of these rings as things began to get serious between them. She said: “He asked me to be his girl and I had his ring. I wore it around my neck for about a year.”

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. And, eventually, the distance between Elvis and Wanda destroyed what could have been a long-lasting relationship.

“I lived in Oklahoma and he lived in Tennessee,” Wanda revealed. “So we didn’t see each other except on the tours that we did together.”

The official date of their split has not been recorded, but Wanda stressed that they remained friends and musical pals. In fact, he went on to regenerate her career in the years that followed.

Elvis later encouraged the young singer to make the transition from country music to rock and roll music. While she was at first reluctant, she did as he suggested.

In 2009, Wanda was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


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