Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rolling Down the River

Posted by T. Ballard Lesemann on Thu, Dec 13, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Music legend Ike Turner, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, died this week at his home in San Diego at the age of 76.

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Izaear Luster “Ike” Turner — a singer/guitarist/arranger and soul legend — was already something of a star when he met and married young Annie Mae Bullock in East St. Louis in the late 1950s. He scored a minor hit in 1951 with what Sam Phillips called "the first rock and roll record ever" — "Rocket 88." Through the 1960s, he and Bullock (a.k.a. Tina) performed with his blistering soul revue, The Kings of Rhythm, and formed a unique and often stormy musical partnership. They scored R&B and pop hits with “A Fool in Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High,” “Nutbush City Limits,” and a funky/dramatic reworking of CCR’s “Proud Mary.” The end of the band and the end of their marriage came in 1975 (he denied claims of abuse by his former wife).

A violent villain? A tortured soul? A misunderstood innovator and pioneer? A killer guitarist with a terrific deep voice? Perhaps a little of all of it.


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