Meet Cordell Jackson, the Mother of Rock n’ Roll

She should be inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame

Marilyn Regan
3 min readApr 22, 2024
Photo: Instagram/NY Times

Cordell (Miller) Jackson, aka “Guitar Granny,” the “Queen of Memphis Guitar” and “Rock n’ Roll Granny” was born over 100 years ago.

She started playing music at the age of seven. Although is best known for her kick-ass guitar-playing style, she also played the piano, harmonica, and double bass. Like many girls, she was told that “girls didn’t play guitar.” But that didn’t stop her.

Despite her extraordinary talent, she was unable to break into Sam Phillips’, male-dominated Sun Records. But again, this did not deter her.

And yet until I came across a post on Facebook that expounded her accolades, I had never heard of her.

Another woman bites the dust.

After receiving 2k hits from people who were astounded, and impressed, but also had never heard of her, I decided to introduce her to others.

A Little History

Cordell Jackson was the daughter of a violinist and performed from the age of 12 and into her 70s, “long before Elvis Presley was born,” she points out.

She rocked out in a formal floor-length gown with puff sleeves, earning her the name “rockin’ Granny.



Marilyn Regan

Marilyn is a writer, yogi, and spiritual medium. Her favorite people are animals, especially ones that meow. She loves the ocean and hates one-use plastic.