Page 2 of 2   <      

The Stinging Guitar

The Turner revue: Ike and Tina were the hottest soul act during the 1960s and early '70s, but the curtain fell on the musical reign of the twosome and on Ike's reputation after their divorce in 1976.
The Turner revue: Ike and Tina were the hottest soul act during the 1960s and early '70s, but the curtain fell on the musical reign of the twosome and on Ike's reputation after their divorce in 1976. (By Michael Ochs Archives -- Getty Images)

Turner was also a noted session player, talent scout and producer who was instrumental in recording the likes of B.B. King and Elmore James. In 1956, he moved to St. Louis, where he met Anna Mae Bullock, whom Ike recast as Tina Turner.

They developed a raw, sexual soul revue with Tina serving as the vocal centerpiece and Ike working as the bandleader and playing stinging, distorted guitar. The group was a major hit, both live and in the studio, and Ike and Tina married in 1962. The abusive relationship lasted until July 4, 1976, when Tina sneaked away from their Dallas hotel room with just 36 cents and a Mobil card in her pocket.

Tina would go on to great heights in the 1980s, whereas Ike went into seclusion and, eventually, prison. (While he was locked up on drug charges, he missed their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.)

Tina Turner became a symbol of survival.

Ike became one of the most infamous spouse abusers in the world.

But, he said in 1997: "I'm working to try to get a hit record, because that's what I need. That'll wash up everything."

And eventually, Turner did have another artistic success: His album "Risin' With the Blues" won a Grammy in February for best traditional blues.

Somebody asked him what the award meant. As recorded in the New York Daily News, he replied: "What does it mean? It means that I'm still living. I made the first rock 'n' roll record and now I made this record."


<       2

© 2007 The Washington Post Company