Ike Turner Explained

Ike Turner
Background:solo_singer
Birth Name:Ike Wister Turner
Birth Date:5 November 1931
Birth Place:Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.
Death Place:San Marcos, California, U.S.
Spouse:Fary Taylor (?)
Anna Mae Bullock (1962-78)
Margaret Ann Thomas (1981-?)
Jeanette Bazzell (1995-2007)
Audrey Madison (?)
Instrument:Guitar, piano, vocals
Genre:R&B, funk, soul-blues, Memphis blues, rock and roll
Occupation:Musician, songwriter, record producer
Years Active:1945 - 2007
Label:Chess, Cobra, Flair, King, Modern/RPM, Sun, United Artists,
Associated Acts:Tina Turner, The Ikettes, The Kings of Rhythm
Alias:Icky Renrut, Lover Boy
Notable Instruments:Fender Stratocaster
piano

Isaac (Ike) Wister Turner (November 5, 1931  - December 12, 2007) was an American musician, bandleader, songwriter, arranger, talent scout, and record producer. In a career that lasted more than half a century, his repertoire included blues, soul, rock, and funk. He is most popularly known for his 1960s work with his then wife Tina Turner in the Ike & Tina Turner revue.Growing up in Clarksdale, Mississippi, he began playing piano and guitar when he was eight, forming his group, the Kings of Rhythm as a teenager at high school. He employed the group as his backing band for the rest of his life. His first recording, "Rocket 88" with the Kings of Rhythm credited as "Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats", in 1951, is considered a possible contender for "first rock and roll song". Relocating to St. Louis, Missouri in 1954, he built the Kings into one of the most renowned acts on the local club circuit. It was there he met singer Anna Mae Bullock, whom he married and renamed Tina Turner, forming the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, which over the course of the sixties became a soul/rock crossover success.[1]

In the 1950s, Turner was employed by Sun Studios and Modern Records as an arranger and talent scout for blues artists.Turner recorded for many of the key R&B record labels of the 1950s and 1960s, including Chess, Modern, Trumpet, Flair and Sue. With the Ike & Tina Revue he graduated to larger labels Blue Thumb and United Artists. Throughout his career Turner won two Grammy Awards and was nominated for three others. Alongside his former wife, Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2001 was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Revelations by Tina Turner in her autobiography of her abusive relationship with Turner and the film adaptation of this coupled with his cocaine addiction damaged Turner's career in the 1980s and 1990s. His name became a synonym for wifebeater, which overshadowed his contributions to music.[2] Addicted to cocaine and crack for at least 15 years, Turner was convicted of drugs offenses, serving seventeen months in prison between July 1989 and 1991. He spent the rest of the 1990s free of his addiction, but relapsed in 2004. Near the end of his life, he returned to live performance as a frontman and produced two albums returning to his blues roots, which were critically well received and award-winning. Turner has frequently been referred to as a 'great innovator' of Rock and Roll by contemporaries such as Little Richard and Johnny Otis.[3] Phil Alexander (then editor-in-chief of Mojo magazine) described Turner as 'the cornerstone of modern day rock 'n' roll'.[4]

Early life (1931-45)

Turner was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, on November 5, 1931, to Beatrice Cushenberry (1909–195?), a seamstress, and Izear Luster Turner, a Baptist minister. The younger of two siblings, Turner had an elder sister, named Ethel May. Turner believed for many years that he was named Izear Luster Turner, Jr. after his father, until he discovered his name was registered as Isaac Wister Turner while applying for his first passport. He never got to discover the origin of his name, as by the time he discovered it, his parents were both dead.[5]

Turner said when he was very young, he witnessed his father beaten and left for dead by a white mob. His father lived for 3 years as an invalid in a tent in the family's yard before succumbing to his injuries.[6] [7] Writer and blues historian Ted Drozdowski has told a different version of the story, stating that Turner's father died in an industrial accident.[8] His mother remarried to a man called Philip Reeves. Turner said his stepfather was a violent alcoholic and they often argued and fought, after one fight Turner knocked out his stepfather with a piece of wood. He then ran away to Memphis where he lived rough for a few days before returning to his mother. He reconciled with his stepfather years later, buying a house for him in the 1950s around the time Turner's mother died.

Turner recounted how he was introduced to sex at the age of six by a middle-aged lady called Miss Boozie. Walking past her house to school, she would invite him to help feed her chickens, and then take him to bed. This continued for some years. Turner claimed to not be traumatized by this, commenting that "in those days they didn't call it abuse, they called it fun".[9] He was also sexually molested by two other women before he was twelve.

Around his eighth year Turner also began frequenting the local Clarksdale radio station, WROX, located in the Alcazar Hotel in downtown Clarksdale. WROX was notable as one of the first radio stations to employ a black DJ, Early Wright, to play blues records.[10] DJ John Frisella put Turner to work as he watched the record turntables. Soon he was left to play records while the DJ went across the street for coffee.[11] Turner described this as "the beginning of my thing with music."[12] This led to Turner being offered a job by the station manager as the DJ on the late-afternoon shift. The job meant he had access to all the new releases. On his show he played a diverse range of music, playing Louis Jordan alongside early rockabilly records.[13]

Turner was inspired to learn the piano on a visit to his friend Ernest Lane's house, where he heard Pinetop Perkins playing Lane's fathers' piano. Turner convinced his mother to pay for him to have piano lessons with a teacher; however he did not take to the formal style of playing, instead spending the money in a pool hall, then learning boogie-woogie from Perkins. . He taught himself to play guitar by playing along to old blues records.[14] [15] At some point in the 1940s, Turner moved into Clarksdale’s Riverside Hotel, run by Mrs. Z.L. Ratliff.[16] The Riverside played host to a great number of touring musicians, including Sonny Boy Williamson II and Duke Ellington. Turner associated and played music with many of these guests.[8]

Music career

Formation of the Kings of Rhythm (1946-1952)

See main article: Kings of Rhythm.

See main article: Rocket 88. In high school, a teenage Turner joined a huge local rhythm ensemble called The Tophatters, who played dances around Clarksdale, Mississippi.[17] Members of the band were taken from Clarksdale musicians, and included Turner's school friends Raymond Hill, Eugene Fox and Clayton Love.[18] [19] The Tophatters played big-band arrangements from sheet music. Turner, who was trained by ear and could not sight read music, would learn the pieces by listening to a version on record at home, pretending to be reading the music during rehearsals.[17] At one point, the Tophatters had over 30 members, and eventually split into two,[20] with one act who wanted to carry on playing dance-band jazz calling themselves The Dukes of Swing and the other, led by Turner becoming the Kings of Rhythm. Said Turner: "We wanted to play blues, boogie-woogie and Roy Brown, Jimmy Liggins, Roy Milton."[17] Turner would keep the name of the band throughout his career, although it went through considerable lineup changes over time. Their early stage performances consisted largely of covers of popular jukebox hits. They were helped by B. B. King, who helped them to get a steady weekend gig and recommended them to Sam Phillips at Sun Studio.[21] In the 50s, Turner's group got regular airplay from live sessions on WROX-Am,[10] and KFFA radio in Helena, Arkansas.[22] Around the time he was starting out with The Kings of Rhythm, Turner and Ernest Lane became unofficial roadies for blues singer Robert Nighthawk, who often played live on WROX. The pair sat in playing drums and piano on radio sessions and supported Nighthawk at blues dates around Clarksdale. Playing with Nighthawk allowed Turner to gig regularly and build up playing experience.[23] He would also provide backup for Sonny Boy Williamson II (Alex "Rice" Miller), playing gigs alongside other local blues artists such as Howlin' Wolf, Charley Booker, Elmore James, Muddy Waters and Little Walter.[12] Performances typically lasted for about twelve hours, from early evening to dawn the next day. Turner described the scenario to an interviewer:[24] The song was written as the group drove down to Memphis to record at Sam Phillips' Sun Studios. Turner came up with the introduction and first verse, the band collaborated on the rest with Brenston, the band's saxophonist, on vocals. Phillips sold the recording to Chess in Chicago, who released it under the name "Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats". The record sold approximately half a million copies. In Turner's account book he recorded that he was paid $20.The success of Rocket 88 caused tensions and ego clashes in the band, causing Jackie Brenston to leave to pursue a solo career, taking some of the original members with him. Turner, without a band and disappointed his hit record had not created more opportunities for him, disbanded the Kings of Rhythm for a few years.[24]

Session musician and talent scout (1952-1956)

After recording Rocket 88, Turner became a session musician and production assistant for Sam Philips and the Bihari Brothers, commuting to Memphis from Clarksdale. He began by contributing piano to a B. B. King track "You Know I Love You", which brought him to the attention of Modern Records's, Joe Bihari, who requested Turner's services on another King track 3 O'Clock Blues. It became King's first hit.[25]

Wishing to utilise Turner's Delta music connections, Bihari contracted him as a talent scout, paying him to search out southern musicians who might be worth recording.[24] Turner also wrote new material for the artists to perform, which, unknown to him the Bihari Brothers registered the copyright on. Turner estimated he "wrote 78 hit records for the Biharis." Artists Turner sourced for Modern included Bobby Bland, Howlin' Wolf and Rosco Gordon. He played piano on sessions with them and other lesser known artists such as The Prisonaires, Ben Burton Orchestra, Little Milton, Matt Cockrell and Dennis Binder.[25] Turner was contracted to the Bihari Brothers, but he continued to work for Sam Phillips at Sun Studios, where he was effectively the in-house producer. This sometimes created conflicts of interest. Turner cut two Howlin' Wolf tracks, "How Many More Years" and "Moanin' at Midnight," which Phillips sent to Chess Records. Turner then took Wolf across the state border, re-recorded the tracks without Phillips' or Chess's knowledge, and sent the results to Modern/RPM. Turner also attempted to poach Elmore James from Trumpet Records and record him for Modern. Trumpet found out and Modern had to cancel the record. However James did eventually sign for Modern, with Turner playing piano on a recording of James at Club Desire in Canton.[26] [25]

St. Louis (1956-59)

In 1956, Turner took a reformed version of the Kings of Rhythm north to St. Louis,[27] including Kizart, Sims, O'Neal, Jessie Knight Jnr and Turner's third wife Annie Mae Wilson Turner on piano and vocals. It was at this time that Turner moved over to playing guitar to accommodate Annie Mae, taking lessons from Willie Kizart to improve.[28] [29]

Turner maintained strict discipline over the band, insisting they lived in a large house with him so he could conduct early morning rehearsals at a moment's notice. Up until the age of 30, Turner was teetotal and had never taken drugs. He insisted all members of his band also adopt this policy, and would fire anyone he even suspected of breaking the rules.[30] He would also fine or physically assault band-members if they played a wrong note and controlled everything from the arrangements down to the suits the band wore onstage. Starting off playing at a club called Kingsbury's in Madison, Illinois, within a year Turner had built up a full gig schedule, establishing his group as one of the most highly rated on the St. Louis club circuit, vying for popularity with their main competition, Sir John's Trio featuring Chuck Berry. The bands would play all-nighters in St. Louis, then cross the river to the clubs of East St. Louis, Illinois, and continue playing until dawn. In St. Louis for the first time Turner, was exposed to a developing white teenage audience who were excited by R&B. Clubs Turner played in St. Louis included Club Imperial, which was popular with white teenagers, The Dynaflow, The Moonlight Lounge, Club Riviera and the West End Walters. In East St. Louis, his group played Kingsbury's, Club Manhattan and The Sportsman.[28] [29]

In between live dates, Turner took the band to Cincinnati to record for Federal in 1956 and Chicago for Cobra/Artistic in 1958, as well as fulfilling his contract as a session musician back at Sun. He befriended St. Louis R&B fan Bill Stevens, who in 1958 set up the short-lived record label, Stevens, financed by his father Fred. Turner recorded numerous sessions for Stevens with various vocalists and musician lineups, of which seven singles were released (these are collected on the Red Lightnin' compilation "Hey Hey- The Legendary Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm"/RL0047). Turner was not credited on any of the Stevens releases as he still had months to run on his Sun contract and did not want to cause friction with Sam Philips. He recorded a solo rockabilly country single under the anagrammatical name Icky Renrut. None of the Stevens records had wide distribution and the operation ceased after a year.[28] [29]

In 1959 Turner was charged with what he described as "interstate transportation of forged cheques and conspiracy", and was forced to stand trial in St. Louis. At the first trial the jury failed to reach verdict, and at the retrial a year later Turner was found not guilty.[31]

The Ike & Tina Turner Revue (1960-1976)

By 1956, Turner had attracted the attention of two sisters, Alline and Anna Mae Bullock, two girls formerly from Brownsville, Tennessee, who had moved to East St. Louis where their mother had moved to find better work. Aillene was a barmaid at Club Manhattan and often drove Anna Mae with her to Club Manhattan. After seeing Turner and the Kings of Rhythm perform at Club Manhattan, Anna Mae started pursuing Ike Turner, asking him to sing in his band. Though Turner would say that he would allow her to sing, Anna Mae never was able to sing onstage. One night, the 17-year-old singer began singing during the band's intermission. Ike Turner was said to have been so shocked and impressed by Anna Mae's singing that he eventually allowed her in as a background singer,[1] changing her name to Little Ann in the process.[32] Anna's first professional recording with Ike Turner was singing background for him on Ike's record, "Box Top".

Turner used Bullock's voice on a recording of his self-penned song, "A Fool In Love", to lay down a guide track for a male singer who did not attend the recording. He sent the recording to Sue Records in New York, where label owner Juggy Murray insisted on putting out the track with Bullock's vocal. Murray offered a $25,000 advance for the song, convinced it was a hit.[33] Around the time of the recording, Anna had been pursued by a former Kings of Rhythm musician, Raymond Hill, to join his band and leave Turner's. When Ike Turner asked her to use his last name as an attempt to discourage Hill, Anna took the offer. A complete name change came after Ike Turner chose to rename her Tina, making her his "wild woman" after being a fan of the Tarzan character, Sheena. In 1960, "A Fool in Love" was released under the billing, Ike & Tina Turner, and later became a national hit, selling a million copies, and making the duo national R&B stars. Ike Turner added a backing girl group he renamed The Ikettes, and this also led to the first name change of the Kings of Rhythm as they began performing as The Ike & Tina Turner Revue. The formation of the revue led to similar revues based around R&B acts.

The duo contributed five more substantial hit singles including "Poor Fool", "I Idolize You" and the Joe Seneca cover of "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", which gave the duo their second million-seller and their first Grammy nomination. After the duo's deal with Sue ended in 1964, Turner would move the band around to different labels looking for the best deal, and between that year and 1969 they recorded on Sonja, Warner Bros., Kent, Loma, Modern, Philles, Innis, Blue Thumb, Minit, and A&M.<ref name=Callahan-31-10-2011>Web site: Callahan. Michael. The Sue Records Story. Both Sides Now. Mike Callahan. 31 October 2011. The 1965 recording of the Phil Spector-produced "River Deep - Mountain High" was done with Ike Turner accepting $25,000 to not be part of the sessions for the song. The song was not a success in the States, causing Spector's retreat from the music industry, but was a big hit in Europe, reaching number 3 in the UK singles chart.[34] This brought the duo to the attention of Mick Jagger, who in 1966 invited them to tour with and open for The Rolling Stones,[35] bringing them to a wider audience outside of soul.Other notable records the duo released were covers of Sly & the Family Stone's "I Want To Take You Higher", Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary", and the Tina Turner-penned "Nutbush City Limits".The partnership ended abruptly in 1976 with Tina leaving after the last in a series of violent altercations with Turner.[29]

The success of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue gave Turner the finances to create his own recording studio, the Los Angeles-based Bolic Sounds next door to his mansion in Inglewood. The studio name was a reference to Tina's maiden name, Bullock.[3] Turner had two sixteen track studios built, a large one to rent out and a smaller one for his personal recordings. He fitted them out with the most state-of-the-art equipment, two 24 input 16 output mixing desks,custom built by John Stephens and Daniel Flickinger, IBM mix memorizers, an early Even-tide digital delay.[36] The studios were opened for public hire in March 1972. Artists who recorded there included Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Duane Allman and Little Richard and Gayle McCormick[3] Frank Zappa recorded the Ruben and the Jets album For Real! at Bolic in 1973.[37] Ike and Tina's last hit, the Tina written Nutbush City Limits was also recorded there. In 1974, Turner was arrested for using illegal blue boxes installed at Bolic to make long-distance phone calls without the phone company's permission. He was eventually cleared of the charges. After this the police began surveillance on the studio, believing other illegal activities were taking place inside.[3]

Legal problems and comeback (1976-2007)

After the breakup of the Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Turner struggled to find success as a solo artist for many years, and by his own admission his behaviour became increasingly erratic.[38] During the 1980s he was arrested 10 times for drugs and firearms offenses and was convicted on 2 occasions.In 1980, a SWAT team raided Bolic Sound, finding a live hand grenade and Turner in possession of seven grams of cocaine. Turner was found guilty of possession of cocaine and sentenced to thirty days in the L.A. county jail, with three years probation. This was Turner's first conviction.[3] In April 1981, he was arrested for shooting a 49-year-old newspaper delivery man who he accused of being physically and verbally abusive to his then wife, Ann Thomas and kicking his dog. Turner said he only fired a shot to scare him off, the man injuring himself when he climbed over the fence to get away. The jury trial in 1982 found him not guilty of assault.[3] By 1985, Turner's finances were in disarray and he owed the state of California $12,802 in back taxes for the period 1975-79. He later settled his account.[3] He had tried to sell Bolic Sound in 1980 to raise funds to avoid foreclosure, but the studio burnt down in a fire in January 1981, on the day Turner was due to show it to a party interested in purchasing it.[3] Turner was arrested again on Friday 21 June 1985, by police acting on undercover information and charged with conspiracy to sell $16,000 of cocaine, possession and maintaining a residence for selling or using a controlled substance.[39] The police took $1,000 of rock cocaine from his North Hollywood apartment. Also arrested and charged alongside him were Eddie Coleman Jr., 32, of Altadena, a record producer, and Richard Lee Griffin, 35, of Los Angeles, a music company writer. Turner paid a $5,000 bond and was released awaiting arraignment on 9 July.[40] A further arrest came in 1986 for cocaine possession, concealed carry of a handgun and traffic violations. Turner was released on $2,671 bail.[41] In January 1987, he was arrested for trying to sell 10 ounces of cocaine to an undercover police officer. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell the drug, but not guilty to counts of possessing cocaine for sale, conspiring to sell the drug and maintaining a residence for the purpose of selling cocaine.[42] On 16 February 1990, he was sentenced to four years in a California prison for cocaine possession offences.[43] He was incarcerated at the minimum security California Men's Colony, San Luis Obispo.[44] Turner completed 18 months of his sentence before being released on parole in September 1991.[45] [46] Larry Kamien, associate warden of the California Men's Colony said Turner was a model inmate.[45] In prison he became a trustee working in the library [46] and saved up $13,000 by selling cigarettes, candy bars and coffee to other inmates.[47] He also played music with other inmates and wrote 15 new songs, which he was planning to record when he was released.[45]

While he was still in prison, Ike and Tina Turner were inducted to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, which Phil Spector accepted on their behalf. Released from prison Turner said he was nervous about returning to performing, but had plans to return to the studio. He sold 20 unreleased Ike & Tina Turner recordings to independent label Esquire Records.[45] In 1993 Salt-n-Pepa sampled his Ikettes hit "I'm Blue (The Gong Gong Song)" for their 1993 single Shoop. The track went to number 4 in the Billboard Hot 100, earning him around half a million dollars in royalties.[38] He re-recorded the song in a duet style with Singer, Billy Rogers. Produced by Billy Rogers, the remake received favourable reviews.[48]

Turner credited Joe Louis Walker with encouraging him to return to his roots in blues music. Turner played guitar and assisted in production on Walker's 1997 album Great Guitars and toured internationally with him.[49] Walker paid him $5,000 a night for six songs.[50] The positive response to the tour encouraged Turner to reform the Kings of Rhythm, taking them on a US tour in 2001. The group headlined a showcase at South by Southwest and were hailed as one of the highlights of the conference.[51] His new wife Jeanette was Ike's lead singer. Turner's work on the tour led to him recording and releasing the 2001 Grammy-nominated Here & Now album.In September 2003, the PBS documentary series, Martin Scorsese's The Blues featured interviews and performances by Turner. Turner featured in the episodes "The Road to Memphis" and "Godfathers and Sons".[52]

In 2005, Turner revealed he had been diagnosed with emphysema, and in his last years was extremely weak, having to use an oxygen tank. His daughter Mia Turner said "He was too weak from the emphysema to do anything. He'd go in the studio for a couple of minutes and play a couple of bars and say he had to go lay down."[53] Despite his ill health, he managed to appear on the Gorillaz' album, Demon Days, playing piano on the track, "Every Planet We Reach Is Dead". Turner also performed the track at the live show at the Manchester Opera House from 1–5 November 2005, his performance was released on the DVD "Demon Days: Live at the Manchester Opera House."[54] Before his death, a collaboration between Turner and the rock band, The Black Keys, by Gorillaz' producer Danger Mouse was planned in 2007. The Black Keys recorded tracks in preparation for Turner to work with, which they used on their album Attack & Release.[55] Although Turner does not appear on the album, Pitchfork noted elements of his influence in the production.[56]

In the year leading up to his death, Turner had a couple of bad falls at his house and was hospitalized several times.After his death, Turner's autopsy and toxicology report showed he was taking Seroquel at the time of his death. The medicine is most commonly used as treatment for bi-polar disorder, Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. Ex-wife Audrey Madison claims Turner was bi-polar, and that she was helping him with his illness, a claim supported by Turner's personal assistant and caretaker Falina Rasool. Rasool says she talked about his bi-polar disorder with Turner many times, and witnessed its effects: However Turner's daughter Mia Turner refuted this diagnosis, saying that the medication was unnecessary: "Daddy is not bipolar ... He was so heavily medicated. He could hardly speak. He was double stepping and walking sideways.[57]

Artistry and Legacy

Musical style

Turner grew up playing boogie woogie piano, which he learned from Pinetop Perkins. In his professional career, he originally worked in the style of 1950s R'n'B, or post-jump blues. Though primarily known as a guitarist, Turner began his career playing piano, and personally considered it his main instrument. He decided he was not meant to be a frontman when at 12 years old he was coerced into giving a piano recital at high school. He found the experience terrifying, and from then on preferred to be in the background of his bands, controlling every aspect of the music and choreography, but not being the focus of attention. At most times in the Ike & Tina Turner Review he would play with his back to the audience.[29] Donald Fagen has written: "talented as he was, there wasn't anything really supernatural about Ike's skills as a musician...What Ike excelled at was leadership: conceptualization, organization, and execution."[58]

Turner's guitar style is distinguished by heavy use of the whammy bar to achieve a strong reverb-soaked vibrato, string bending, hammer ons and triplets in his blues phrasing.[59] Turner was an early adopter of the Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, buying one from O.K. Houk's Piano Co. store in Memphis the year of its release in 1954.[60] Unaware that the guitar’s tremolo arm could be used to subtle effect, Turner used it to play screaming, swooping and diving solos that predated artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck by a decade.[61] In The Stratocaster Chronicles, Tom Wheeler writes that Turner's “inventive style is a classic example of an artist discovering the Stratocaster, adapting to its features and fashioning something remarkable.”[62] Turner himself said of his tremolo technique: “I thought it was to make the guitar scream—people got so excited when I used that thing.”[61]

In 1951 Turner's Kings of Rhythm recorded one of the first instances of use of amplifier distortion. Rocket 88 is notable amongst other things for Willie Kizart's distorted guitar sound.In February 2005, Fender manufactured a limited edition Ike Turner Tribute Stratocaster. The model was an alder body in Sonic Blue with Ike Turner signature in gold ink on body under finish,, with a maple neck in a 60s "C" shape with a rosewood fingerboard, with 21 vintage frets. It had three custom single coil 60s Stat pickups. Only 100 instruments were made, retailing at $3,399.99.

Influence

B.B. King was a great admirer of Turner, describing him as "The best bandleader I've ever seen".[63] Turner was also a big influence on contemporary Little Richard, who said in the introduction to Turner's autobiography; "Before all these people Ike Turner was doing his thing. He is the innovator."[64] Richard was inspired to learn to play the piano by hearing Rocket 88[30] and borrowed the introduction for his hit Good Golly Miss Molly.[65]

Johnny Otis said "Ike Turner is a very important man in American music. The texture and flavor of R&B owe a lot to him. He defined how to put the Fender bass into that music. He was a great innovator."[3]

Phil Alexander said:

Paul Gambaccini, broadcaster said:

Nigel Cawthorne, Ike Turner biographer said:

Turner's songs began to be sampled by hip hop artists, most notably Salt-n-Pepa sampling I'm Blue (Gong Gong Song) for use in their 1994 hit "Shoop"[38] and Jurassic 5 used "Getting Nasty" from A Black Man's Soul on the 1997 track Concrete Schoolyard. Main Source also sampled "Getting Nasty" on track "Snake Eyes" as well as Ike & Tina's "Bold Soul Sister" on "Just Hanging Out", both featured on their 1991 album Breaking Atoms.The track Funky Mule, also from A Black Man's Soul has been sampled extensively by jungle DJs, with the drum introduction being a very popular break. It has been sampled by producer Goldie for his 1994 hit "Inner City Life", in the same year by Krome & Time on "The License" and by Paradox in 2002 on track "Funky Mule".[66]

Portrayal in popular culture

Tina Turner's accounts of her abuse at the hands of Ike were published in her 1986 autobiography I, Tina. Ike received intensely negative publicity from this, exacerbated in 1993 by the release of the film adaptation What's Love Got to Do with It. The film rights to the book were acquired by Disney's Touchstone Pictures. Turner stated he had mistakenly signed papers waiving the right to sue Touchstone Pictures for his depiction after accepting a $50,000 payment in exchange for the right for them to depict him in any way they saw fit.[67] Ike was played in the movie by Lawrence Fishburne. Tina Turner commenting on the historical accuracy of the film said "I would have liked then to have more truth, but according to Disney, they said it's impossible, the people would not have believed the truth."[30] Phil Spector speaking at Turner's eulogy, called the film a "piece of trash".[68] However Robert Palmer noted that:"Long before Tina Turner cast him as the devil incarnate ...that was Ike Turner's show business persona."[24] In 2006 Vibe magazine named the character of Ike Turner from What's Love Got To Do With It at number 4 in their 20 best movie "bad guys."[69] After the release of the film and Turner's drug conviction, the fictionalized version of Turner from the movie was seized on by comedians, who reused it in sketches. On the 1990s sketch comedy show In Living Color, Turner was parodied by David Alan Grier. In one skit, he sang a parody of Tina's song "What's Love Got To Do With It," in which he sings proudly of his abusive personality. The video also parodies Tina's video; whereas in her video Tina walks around stopping couples who are fighting, Ike walks around to couples and gives the men weapons.[70] He was also portrayed on Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, by Tim Meadows in a pageboy wig. This incarnation of Turner is played as desperate, and would make verbally derisive remarks to Kevin Nealon; he would later try to win back Kevin's "love" with gifts and a cake, later shoving Kevin's face into the cake.On the John Boy and Billy radio show, cast member Jeff Pillars regularly performed an impersonation of Turner in a segment called "Ax/Ask Ike." He offered advice on interpersonal relationships, which always resulted in him giving inappropriate and humorous advice. These sketches were collected in a 2008 comedy album Ike At The Mike.[71]

In 1999, Turner's autobiography was published, entitled Taking Back My Name. It was written with Nigel Cawthorne with a foreword by Little Richard. In part the memoir was a rebuttal in response to the public image presented of him in Tina Turner's memoir and the film.

Awards and achievements

Ike and Tina Turner were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 while Turner was still in prison, Phil Spector accepting the award on their behalf.Turner was nominated for a Grammy in 2001 for his album Here & Now.He was awarded in 2004 with a Heroes Award from the Memphis charter of NARAS.[72] In 2006 he won his first solo Grammy in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for the album, Risin' With the Blues which was mixed at Future Sound Studios by Rene Van Verseveld. The album was also nominated for the 7th Annual Independent Music Awards for Blues Album of the year. Jerry D'Souza wrote of the album: "Turner has it all in the palm of his hand, his phrasing breathing life into the words. He still has the power to turn the blues into an unforgettable experience."[73] On August 5, 2010, Ike Turner was posthumously recognized by his Mississippi hometown. Clarksdale officials and music fans gathered to unveil two markers honoring Turner and his musical legacy. The unveilings coincided with the 23rd annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, dedicated that year to "Rocket 88".

Personal life

Relationships

Turner was married at least five times. He sometimes claimed to have been married 13 times. Turner's first marriage was to an Edna Dean Taylor from Ruleville, Mississippi, while he was still in his teens. He then married a woman called Rosa Lee Sane. The marriage took place in West Memphis. In 1953 he married pianist and singer Bonnie Mae Wilson, who was part of the Kings of Rhythm, but after two years she left him for another man.[17] After Bonnie he became involved with Anna Mae Wilson, another female pianist in the band, whom he married in the mid 1950s. His next marriage was to Lorraine Taylor, who had two sons with Ike.[74]

The facts surrounding his marriage to Anna Mae Bullock (Tina Turner), have been very publicly debated, along with the accusations of abuse of his wife by Turner. Tina left the relationship after another violent argument on the way to a concert in 1976.[3] Their divorce was finalized in 1978.[75] In Tina Turner's 1986 autobiography, she accused Ike of violent spousal abuse. In a 1985 interview Turner admitted, "Yeah I hit her, but I didn't hit her more than the average guy beats his wife...If she says I abused her, maybe I did."[3] In his 2001 autobiography he worded this slightly differently; "Sure, I've slapped Tina... There have been times when I punched her to the ground without thinking. But I have never beat her."

Turner claimed on more than one occasion he had never been officially married to Bullock. In an 1985 interview with Spin Magazine, Turner stated "As God is my judge, of all my wives, Tina is the only one I was never legally married to."[3] He stated that she took his name in order to discourage a former lover from returning to her.[76] In his autobiography Turner wrote "We didn't recognize marriages", which Margaret Moser believes "is true by the rural Southern standards of the times".[12]

Turner married former Ikette Margaret Ann Thomas in the early 1980s.[3] After his release from prison Ike was met at the prison gate by blues singer Jeanette Bazzell who later became his wife. With Jeanette's support, Ike enjoyed a long period of sobriety. In 1995, they were married after years of courtship. Ike and Jeanette divorced in 2001 but remained friends. In 2006, he married long-time music collaborator Audrey Madison. She divorced him but reconciled with him before his death.[30]

He has six known children: sons Ike Jr. and Michael (with Lorraine Taylor) and Ronald/"Ronnie" (with Tina Turner), and daughter Mia (with Ann Thomas). Mia Turner was conceived and born during Ike's marriage to Tina in the late 1960s. Tina's son Craig (fathered by saxophonist Raymond Hill) carries the Turner name. Ike Turner also has two other daughters: Linda Trippeter, who is the eldest; and Twanna Turner Melby, who took him in after he was released from prison.

Drug addiction

Turner claimed he was first introduced to cocaine around 1960, when he was given some to try by "two very famous people I'd been working with in Las Vegas at the same hotel". Daughter Twanna Turner and son Ronnie expressed the opinion that Turner's introduction to drugs was "a set-up", an attempt to undermine him by those in the industry jealous of his success, who wanted to make use of Tina Turner's talents themselves.[30] By 1970 Turner was heavily addicted to the drug, buying it in large quantities. He claimed that in the early seventies he spent $56,000 a month buying cocaine (although not all for his personal use). In a 2001 interview with Caroline Graham of the Mail on Sunday, Turner estimated he had spent $11 million on cocaine. In 1986, he acknowledged that he had been addicted to cocaine for 15 years.[77] [3] [78] By 1974 His heavy usage meant he had worn a large hole through his nasal septum.[44] This hole caused him pain which he relieved with further hits of cocaine. He then began freebasing crack cocaine.[30] While in prison in 1991, Turner managed to break his dependency on cocaine. He remained clean for ten years, with the help of family members. However in 2004, while trying to help rescue a crack addict acquaintance from his addiction, Turner entered a crack house, smelled cocaine fumes and had a relapse.[30]

Death

In the weeks leading up to his death, Turner became reclusive, in contrast to his normal gregarious personality. On December 10, 2007, He told his personal assistant Falina Rasool that he believed he was dying, and would not make it to Christmas.[30] Turner died on December 12, 2007, at 76 years of age, at his home in San Marcos, California, near San Diego. He was found dying by his ex-wife Ann Thomas. Rasool was also in the house and administered CPR. Turner was pronounced dead at 11:38am.[30]

The funeral was held on 22 December 2007 at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California. Among those who spoke at the funeral were Little Richard, Solomon Burke and Phil Spector. Hundreds of friends, family members and fans attended the service. The Kings of Rhythm played versions of "Rocket 88" and "Proud Mary". In his eulogy Spector said that "Ike made Tina the jewel she was".[68]

On January 16, 2008, it was reported by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office that Turner had died from a cocaine overdose. "The cause of death for Ike Turner is cocaine toxicity with other significant conditions, such as hypertensive cardiovascular disease and pulmonary emphysema," Supervising Medical Examiner Investigator Paul Parker told CNN. His daughter Mia Turner was said to be surprised at the coroner's assessment, believing his advanced stage emphysema would have been a bigger factor in his death.[53]

On August 5, 2010, Ike Turner was posthumously recognized by his Mississippi hometown. Clarksdale officials and music fans gathered to unveil two markers honoring Turner and his musical legacy. The unveilings coincided with the 23rd annual Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, dedicated that year to "Rocket 88".

Partial discography

Albums

Compilations

Singles

Credited as Ike Turner

Uncredited recordings

With Howlin' Wolf

Ike & Tina Turner

Awards

External links

Notes and References

  1. Book: Gaar, Gillian A.. She's a Rebel: The History of Women in Rock & Roll. Seal Press. 1-878067-08-7. 1992. October.
  2. Web site: Svenonious. Ian. Reflections on Ike Turner. Vice Beta News. Vice Media Inc.. 5 November 2011.
  3. Kiersh. Ed. Ike's Story. Spin. 1985. August. 1. 4. 36–43. 5 October 2011.
  4. News: The musical legacy of Ike Turner. BBC News entertainment, 13 December 2007. BBC. 1 October 2011. 13 December 2007.
  5. Book: Turner, Ike. Takin' Back My Name. 1999. Virgin Books. 1-85227-850-1.
  6. Book: Turner, Ike. Takin' Back My Name. 1999. Virgin Books. 978-1-85227-850-2.
  7. News: Obituaries- Ike Turner. 1 October 2011. The Daily Telegraph. 13 December 2007.
  8. Web site: Drozdowski. Ted. King of Rhythm: Rock and Roll Pioneer Ike Turner November 5, 1931 - December 12, 2007. Gibson.com lifestyle features 12.13.2007. Gibson, Inc.. 1 October 2011.
  9. News: Ike Turner- obituary. 1 October 2011. The Economist. 19 December 2007.
  10. News: Martin. Douglas. Early Wright, 84, Disc Jockey Who Made the Delta Blue, Dies. 2 October 2011. New York Times. 17 December 1999.
  11. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 27.
  12. News: Moser. Margaret. Spotlight: Ike Turner Antone's, Midnight. 4 November 2011. Auston Chronicle. 16 March 2001.
  13. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 28.
  14. News: Ike Turner: The Times Obituary. 2 October 2011. The Times. 13 December 2007. Charles. Bremner. David. Robertson.
  15. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 25–26.
  16. Web site: Riverside Hotel. Rat Pack St. Louis. Nico Productions of MojoRat LLC. 2 October 2011.
  17. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 28–30.
  18. Web site: Mississippi Blues Trail-Ike Turner. Mississippi Blues Trail. Mississippi Blues Commission. 1 October 2011.
  19. Web site: Ike Turner's Kings Of Rhythm – I'm Tore Up. Discogs. discogs. 1 October 2011.
  20. Book: Romanowski, Patricia. Ike and Tina Turner Biography. 2001. Simon & Schuster. 978-0-7432-0120-9. 1136.
  21. News: Pareles. Jon. Ike Turner, musician and songwriter in duo with Tina Turner, dies at 76. 30 September 2011. The New York Times. Thursday, December 13, 2007.
  22. Hawkins. Martin. Sun- The Roots Of Rock: Delta Rhythm Kings sleevenotes. 1976. 3. Sun - The Roots Of Rock.
  23. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 30–31.
  24. News: Palmer. Robert. Commentary: What Ike Had to Do With It. 6 November 2011. Los Angeles Times. June 20, 1993.
  25. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 41–52.
  26. Web site: Club Desire, Canton. Mississippi Blues Trail marker. Mississippi Blues Commission. 27 March 2012.
  27. Web site: Ward. Ed. Ike Turner. Encyclopædia Britannica- black history. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 1 October 2011.
  28. Book: Palmer, Robert. Present tense: rock & roll and culture. 1992. Duke University Press. Duke University, U.S.A.. 978-0-8223-1265-9. 32–36.
  29. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4.
  30. Christian. Margena A.. The last days of Ike Turner. Ebony. 2008. October. 6 October 2011.
  31. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 76–81.
  32. Book: Hasday, Judy L.. Tina Turner: Black Americans of Achievement. Chelsea House Publications. 0-7910-4967-1. 10. 1999. June.
  33. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 70–76.
  34. Michael Billig, Book: Rock 'n' roll Jews, page 110. Syracuse University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8156-0705-9. 2009-10-24. 978-0-8156-0705-2. 2001-06-01.
  35. News: Walker. Michael. Tina Turner's Story Through a Disney Prism. 23 December 2011. Los Angeles Times. May 16, 1993.
  36. News: Sutherland. Sam. Studio Track:. 4 November 2011. Billboard. 18 March 1972.
  37. Web site: García Albertos. Román. FZ Chronology, 1973. Frank Zappa Chronology. 4 November 2011.
  38. News: Strauss. Neil. The Pop Life: Ike Turner Return. 3 October 2011. The New York Times. 22 August 1996.
  39. News: Ike Turner Released From Jail. 27 February 2012. Lakeland Ledger. 28 June 1985. Lakeland Wire Services.
  40. Web site: Drug Charges Filed Against Musician Ike Turner. AP News Archive, Jun. 27, 1985. Associated Press. 27 February 2012. Associated Press.
  41. Jet Staff Writers. Ike Turner Arrested On Cocaine Charge In Calif.. Jet. 27 Jan 1986. 69. 19. 9. 27 February 2012.
  42. News: Press. Associated. Not Guilty Plea on Drugs. 2 October 2011. The New York Times. 3 January 1987.
  43. News: Press. Associated. 4-Year Sentence for Ike Turner. 2 October 2011. The New York Times. 17 February 1990.
  44. News: Dougherty. Steve. Soul Star on Ice. 6 November 2011. People. September 3, 1990.
  45. News: Philips. Chuck. Will They Still Like Ike? : Turner Nervous About Restarting His Pop Career. 27 February 2012. Los Angeles Times. 5 September 1991.
  46. Jet Staff writers. Ike Turner released from prison, returns to music and `appreciates' Tina. Jet. 9/23/91. 1991. 80. 23. 37.
  47. Web site: Miserandino. Dominick A.. Ike Turner. The Celebrity Cafe.com 12-99-99. 3 October 2011.
  48. News: Flick. Larry. Singles reviews. Billboard. 14 January 1995.
  49. News: Wong. Nancy. Ike Turner performed with Joe Louis Walker. SF Gate. Hearst Communications Inc.. 5 November 2011.
  50. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 133.
  51. News: Drozdowski. Ted. Living legend Ike Turner returns to rock and roll. 5 November 2011. May 24–31, 2001.
  52. Web site: About the Film Series. PBS: The Blues. Vulcan Productions, Inc.. 4 October 2011.
  53. News: Carter. Chelsea J.. Cocaine overdose killed Ike Turner, San Diego coroner rules. 3 October 2011. San Francisco Chronicle (AP). 17 January 2008.
  54. News: Morley. Paul. Gorillaz at the Manchester International Festival. 4 October 2011. The Daily Telegraphy. 6 November 2005.
  55. Web site: 100 Best ALbums of the 00's. Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone. 13 November 2011.
  56. Web site: Strew. Roque. The Black Keys Attack & Release. Pitchfork Media, April 1, 2008. Pitchfork Media, Inc.. 13 November 2011.
  57. Christian. Margena A.. The Last Days of Ike Turner. Ebony. 2008. October. LXIII. 12. 94–100. 7 October 2011.
  58. Web site: Fagen. Donald. The Devil and Ike Turner: Parsing his hits. Slate Obituary, Dec. 17, 2007. The Slate Group, LLC. 8 November 2011.
  59. Rubin. Dave. Ike Turner: The Soulful Style of the Electric Blues/R&B Guitarist. Premier Guitar. 2009. December. 88. 1 October 2011.
  60. Web site: Lord. Derreck. Ike Turner, Here and Now. all about jazz, 2011-04-06. All About Jazz /Derreck Lord. 6 November 2011.
  61. Web site: Ike Turner 1931-2007. Fender News. Fender Inc.. 5 October 2011.
  62. Book: Wheeler, Tom. The Stratocaster Chronicles. 2004. Hal Leonard. 978-0-634-05678-9.
  63. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 41.
  64. News: Braiker. Brian. Remembering Ike Turner. 4 October 2011. Newsweek. 17 December 2007.
  65. Christian. Margena A.. Ike Turner Memorial. Jet. January 14, 2008. 5 October 2011.
  66. Web site: Goldie Inner City Life sample of Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm. whosampled.com. WhoSampled.com Limited. 7 October 2011.
  67. News: Staff. Snippets, Section Houston, Page 2, 2 STAR Edition. 1 November 2011. Houston Chronicle. 1993-09-21.
  68. News: Leeds. Jeff. Ike Turner is Eulogized as misunderstood. 3 October 2011. New York Times. 22 December 2007.
  69. Dauphin. Gary. Bad Guys. 27 February 2012. Vibe. April 2006.
  70. Web site: Ike Strikes Back In Living Color. Youtube. 1 November 2011.
  71. Web site: Ike At the Mike John Boy & Billy. I Tunes Store. Apple Inc. 1 November 2011.
  72. Web site: The Recording Academy- Memphis Chapter. Grammy 365. The Recording Academy. 30 September 2011.
  73. Web site: D'Souza. Jerry. Ike Turner- Risin' With the Blues. All About Jazz.com 5 October 2006. allaboutjazz.com. 3 October 2011.
  74. Web site: Stritof. Sheri & Bob. Ike and Tina Turner Marriage Profile. About marriage. About.com. 6 November 2011.
  75. ISBN 1-85227-850-1
  76. http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=13&agg=0&prgDate=12-14-2007&view=storyview Fresh Air from WHYY : NPR
  77. News: Adams. Guy. Ike Turner: On sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. 3 October 2011. The Independent. 27 October 2005.
  78. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 129.
  79. Web site: Ike Turner- discography. discogs.com. Discogs. 30 September 2011.
  80. Web site: Ike Turner- The New Breed. Youtube, 14 May 2010. 8 February 2012.
  81. Book: Collis, John. Ike Turner- King of Rhythm. 2003. The Do Not Press. London. 978-1-904316-24-4. 140–185.
  82. News: Gallo. Phil. Musician Ike Turner Dies at 76. 5 November 2011. Dec. 12, 2007. Variety.
  83. Web site: Ike Turner inducted april 4 2005. RockWalk inductees. Guitar Center. 8 October 2011.
  84. Web site: Ike & Tina Turner- Awards. Metro Lyrics. MetroLeap Media, Inc.. 30 September 2011.