Posted by themusicsover on December 12, 2009
Izear “Ike” Turner
November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007
Ike Turner was a musician, producer and band leader who is consider one of rock ‘n roll’s pioneers. He is likely best remembered however, for his work with one-time wife, Tina Turner. Born in Mississippi in 1931, Turner’s life in music began at just eight years old when he began working for a Clarksdale radio station. A short time later, he was working as a roadie of sorts for blues great, Robert Nighthawk. In the late ’40s, Turner formed a band called the Kings of Rhythm whose “Rocket 88” is often credited as the very first rock ‘n roll song. He and his band eventually settled in St. Louis where he picked up work as a talent scout for various labels including Sun Records. In that position, he helped launch the careers of such future legends as Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf and Otis Rush. In the late ’50s, Turner witnessed a teenage girl by the name of Anna Mae Bullock belt out a B.B. King song at t local club. The two soon married, and Bullock was rechristened, Tina Turner, thus launching the dynamic Ike & Tina Turner Review, with Tina out front and Ike, the band leading guitarist. Over the next several years, the duo became superstars releasing such rockin’ R&B numbers as “River Deep Mountain High,” “Proud Mary,” and “Nutbush City Limits.” In 1976, the pair went through a bitter break up, both personally and professionally. During the ’80s, Tina became one of the biggest stars in the world, but Ike wasn’t as fortunate. He kept a relatively low profile other than an occasional run-in with the law or an appearance on talk shows like Howard Stern where he once claimed that he and Tina actually never got married. On December 12, 2007, Ike Turner, age 76, died of what was ruled a cocaine overdose with other cardiovascular and respiratory factors.
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