Another good show at the Poncan Theatre last night, this one with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson headlining. There was a good crowd - the bottom part of the theatre was about three-quarters full and there were folks in the balcony so I would say there were about 400 people in the audience. The interesting thing, Dave May told me, is that a lot of people came up from Oklahoma City to see Wanda perform. She has a big following and she doesn't perform that often any more so folks are willing to make a pretty long drive to see her.
Jackson at 72 was still in good voice and put on a good performance. Wanda brought her two granddaughters to the stage and one of them performed a version of Willy Nelson's "Crazy." I especially enjoyed her backup band with Bill Holden and the Nighthawks. Bill was a dynamic guitarist who also does a Roy Orbison Tribute that I wouldn't mind seeing appear at the Poncan at a future date. As I've mentioned before, at this point I would rather see a good tribute show at the Poncan than spend the time and effort to get seats on the 142nd row for the Rolling Stones or U2 when they go on tour.
When I looked Jackson up on Wikipedia it was interesting to find that she began performing inn 1952, when she was 15, after her family moved back to Oklahoma from California and that in 1952 she won a talent contest which led to her own radio program out of Oklahoma City. After graduating from high school, she began to tour with her father as manager and chaperon and often shared the bill with Elvis Presley and at one time briefly dated Elvis while she was on tour with him. During her performance she talked about how one time she found herself in Elvis' bedroom with Elvis singing to her and ladies in the audience swoomed.
The best part of the evening for me though was the supporting act - Becky Hobbs. I had never heard of Becky before but she is a singer-songwriter born in Bartlesville who has written songs for such artists as Helen Reddy, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and Shelly West. Her best known song is "Angels Among Us" that charted in 1994 for Alabama. The amazing thing about Becky was that her band didn't show up so she took to the stage and sang and accompanied herself on keyboards putting on a one woman show. The crowd gave her a standing ovation after she performed "Angels Among Us" at the end of her show and brought her back for more. She is another performer that patrons of the Poncan wouldn't mind seeing again - next time with her full band.
After the show my wife and I went out to eat. It was late in Ponca City and one disadvantage of living in Ponca is that there wasn't much choice for a late night meal. Forty years ago there were several all night diners in Ponca City. I remember one I used to go to just west of the Conoco tank farm near where Highway 60 crosses Waverly. I used to eat there every night at 3 or 4 am after I got off work when I worked the night shift on the Rock Island Railroad while I was going to school in the late 1960s. Anyway my wife and I didn't want to go to Perkins or Chilli's so we did what we have done a couple of other times when we're hungry and don't want to go to a regular restaurant - went to the Conoco service station on North 14th up by Lowe's for a couple of hot dogs, a fountain drink, and bags of cheese flavored popcorn (my wife's favorite junk food) and hot barbecued pork rinds (my favorite junk food.) It's a good cheap meal and a nice way to end the evening.
We are going to Tulsa on Sunday morning for a last brunch at the Osage Room in the Gilcrease Museum. Kathleen Kennedy, the owner of the restaurant, has lost her lease and will be closing at the end of the month. Over the years we have had many great meals in the Osage Room and wanted to enjoy one last meal and remember the many times we have enjoyed her hospitality. Luckily Kathleen will continue running Ciao, her Italian restaurant and Jazz club, in downtown Tulsa so we will just start spending more time there instead.
In other news, my wife and I went to Ponca Playhouse on Friday night to see the first performance in their new theatre. Phil Bandy was outstanding in "Tuesdays with Morrie" - it was the performance of lifetime for Phil - one of those roles that very rarely comes around where there is a perfect fit between the role and the actor.
Take a look at my photos of Wanda Jackson and Becky Hobbs from the performance.
Top Photo: Becky Hobbs singing and accompanying herself on keyboards at the Poncan Theatre.
Middle Photo: Wanda Jackson (right) with two of her granddaughters accompanying here and Bill Holden on guitar in the background.
Bottom Photo: My mother Deloris Pickens, daughter Carolina Pickens Jahncke, grandson Keanu Jahncke, son-in-law Jaime Jahncke, and brother-in-law Sidney Toombs celebrating a News Years brucnh in 2007 at the Osage Room at the Gilcrease Museum.