Cordell Jackson was probably best known as the "rock-and-roll granny" whose git-pickin’ ran circles around Brian Setzer in the 1991 Budweiser commercial. But she is also an early rockabilly pioneer and is thought to be the first woman to write, arrange, engineer, produce, promote and manufacture her own rock and roll record label: Moon Records founded in Memphis in 1956.
Born into a musical household in Mississippi in 1923, her father played fiddle and lead a popular local string band called the Pontotoc Ridge Runners, she had recorded several demos at Sam Phillips' Memphis studios for Sun Records. But without any success, or the likelihood of getting signed to Sun, she took the advice of Chet Atkins and formed her own label.
Her first release was "Beboppers Christmas" b/w "Rock and Roll Christmas.” Soon she was releasing other singles from other rockabilly artists such as Allen Page and the Big Four, best known for their single "Dateless Night," written by Jackson.
Jackson continued Moon Records through the 1970’s and 80’s, remaining active in the rockabilly music scene. She recorded a novelty song called "Football Widow," which became probably her best known recording. After the Budweiser ad, she enjoyed her quirky, new-found fame: she had a small role as the "Bathroom Lady" in “The Gun in Betty Lou's Handbag,” appeared on the David Letterman show and had her original Moon singles displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
She died in Memphis, on October 14, 2004.
Side note: about her marriage in 1943, she said, “It was either marry a country dude or a city dude, and I chose a city dude.”