Rock and roll pioneer Ike Turner
Pianist ~ Guitarist ~ Singer ~ Songwriter
Ike & Tina Turner
birth name: Izear Luster Turner, Jr.

Ike Turner

November 5, 1931, Clarksdale, MS ~ December 12, 2007, San Marcos, CA

Ike Turner is certainly one of the most dehumanized figures in rock history. Mention his name and the first association that comes to most anyone's mind is ‘abusive husband,’ not ‘soul star’ or ‘rock & roll pioneer.’ According to legend, Turner was a tyrannical ogre who used physical violence and psychological intimidation to control his infinitely more talented wife Tina, while indulging his own appetites for cocaine and women at every turn. That's not entirely accurate, although by most accounts Turner did quite a bit to earn that reputation; he spent time in prison due to his drug problems, and his own refutations of Tina's allegations of abuse have been inconsistent at best over the years. Still, this view of Turner as villain does a disservice to his very real musical legacy as an instrumentalist and bandleader. As a pianist in the early '50s, Turner helped lay the groundwork for rock & roll; he was also a distinctive guitarist with a biting, nasty tone, and was one of the first to make the whammy bar an integral part of his sound. ~ Allmusic: Ike Turner ~ retrieved November 5, 2013 © Allmusic

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November 5, 2011 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (2) Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera, Moves Like Jagger ~ #2 (6) Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris, We Found Love ~ #1 (1) Adele, Someone Like You


Ike Turner ~ Inducted in the 2005 Blues Hall Of Fame.

‘Rocket 88’

On the surface, ‘Rocket 88’ doesn’t sound like anything special. At 2 minutes, 49 seconds, it’s your basic jump blues record (…) It was nothing special at the time - a hit on black radio, a minor seller in black communities - and there’s nothing that really makes it special today. Except one thing: to many rock and roll evolutionists, ‘Rocket 88’ marks the turning point in the history of popular music. To many, this is the very first rock and roll record ever recorded. It marked the center of the target, as it were, where all the various musical styles in America came to a crossroads. ~ WNEW: ‘Rocket 88,’ the Beginning of Rock and roll ~ retrieved December 10, 2013 © WNEW

The band made four more recordings that day, with Ike Turner singing on two of them while Brenston stood back on second tenor sax. Sam Phillips wasted no time. He sold the recordings to Chess Records in Chicago, and Chess released two singles by the group in mid-April. The coupled sides that featured Turner's voice bore on their labels the credit Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm. This was how it should have been, and Ike was pleased. The other single, however, was credited to Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats. This, in the eyes of Ike Turner, known no more then than now for his magnanimity and humility, was not how it should have been, and he was displeased. His displeasure grew more pronounced as it became apparent that the single that bore Brenston's name, rather than the one that bore his own, was going to be a hit. ~ Jackie Brenston & Ike Turner, Delta Rhythm Kings ~ retrieved December 10, 2013 ©

Ike & Tina Turner

During the 1950s, Ike Turner was fronting an R&B band called the Kings of Rhythm. The band had become the house band of the East St. Louis, Missouri based club called the Manhattan. During their tenure as the house band of the club, they had achieved the reputation of one of the better rhythm and blues bands in the area. At the same time, 17-year old Anna Mae Bullock began accompanying her sister to the Manhattan. She became entranced with Turner and his band, and would regularly attend the club to see the Rhythm Kings. Bullock repeatedly asked Turner if she could sing with the band, but to no avail. One day, the band's drummer offered the microphone to Bullock's sister who declined to opportunity to get up and sing with the band. Leaping at the chance she had been waiting for, Bullock leapt on stage and belted one out with the band. Turner was amazed with what he heard and told her that she could sing with the band as one of their vocalists. ~ Ike & Tina Turner ~ retrieved November 2, 2013 © Musicianguide

Ike & Tina Turner ~ Inducted in the 1991 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ~ The Ike and Tina Turner Revue was one of the highest energy ensembles on the soul circuit in the late 1960s and early 1970s. ~ 1991 © Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

In 2012 three of Ike & Tina's albums made it to the #DLW500 Dylan's 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time ~ #404 Please Please Please (1963) ~ #282 Live: What You Hear Is What You Get (1971) ~ #156 Working Together (1971)

Ike & Tina Turner ~ River Deep, Mountain High (Spector/Barry/Greenwich) ~ Ranked #37 NME 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time in 2014 ~ Atop Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound, 42 musicians deep and $20,000 high, Turner's desperation and frustration gave River Deep a truly death-or-glory quality, a woman bawling her passion as the mountains crash down around her and the rivers rise over her head. ~ 2014 © NME

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