Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ike Turner

From all accounts, Ike Turner was a sob in his private life, but he was one of the great figures in rock and rhythm and blues. He passed away on December 12.

His 1951 recording of "Rocket 88" has a very strong claim to be the first rock record. (There are least 50 other candidates, but I agree with those who think this song peformed by Jackie Berenson and his Delta Cats--actually Ike's Kings of Rhythm band from St. Louis has the best claim.)

Strangely, the first NPR obit, didn't even mention Rocket 88. It also didn't mention "River Deep, Mountain High" the legendary 1965 Ike and Tina Turner single. This tune is #33 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest rock songs. This omission is understandable, since the song was produced by Phil Spector on the condition that Ike stay out of the studio.

Here's a very nice video "Huck" put together in a visual tribute to this great rock song.

I discovered Ike and Tina about the time they were discovered by the rock world. I bought and wore out "Outta Season" and "The Hunter" two late '60s LPs on Blue Thumb, but I suspect that the really great Ike and Tina Turner was a little bit earlier. This clip shows why.

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