Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rolling on the River

On November 26th, 1939, a little girl by the name of Anna Mae Bullock was born to Floyd and Zelma Bullock in a small Tennessee county. A couple years later, Anna's parents took their eldest daughter, Alline, and moved to St. Louis Missouri. Anna stayed back in Tennessee with her grandmother, only to return to her parents after her grandmother passed when Anna turned 17.

Attending Sumner high school during her teen years, she would occasionally visit night clubs with her older sister. One night, Anna met a man by the name of Ike Turner, who had a band. An avid singer, Anna jumped at the opportunity. "Can I sing for you?" After repeated attempts at this "audition," she finally got the chance. At the age of 18, she began performing as "Little Ann" with Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm band. The two ended up marrying each other in 1958.

But they weren't making a big name for themselves until Anna was hanging around a recording studio; that day, a singer scheduled to record "A Fool for Love" didn't show up. Naturally, Anna stepped in anxiously. Without any expectation, it became a huge R&B hit, launching the recording to the top 30 on U.S. charts. Ike changed Anna Bullock's name to Tina Turner, and she ran off with great success.

Recording songs like "Simply the Best," "Proud Mary," "River Deep, Mountain High," among others, she was and is a huge success. After a brief decline in popular demand due to other acts like the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and other famous acts, it seemed that Ike and Tina Turner's Revue Band had seen its fame come and go in the early 1970's. At this same time, Ike acted as manager of the group and became addicted to coccaine. Domestic violence ensued, and soon, Tina left everything, with only 38 cents in her pocket in 1976, later commenting that Ike abused her during their entire marriage. The divorce was made final in 1978.

Meanwhile, she broke off as a solo artist, which she had to do to pay back promoters of the concert she left halfway through. She made many albums and retains her fame to this day.

I'm sure everybody remembers this performance of Beyonce and Tina singing "Proud Mary" at the 50th Grammy's in 2008.  Beyonce is an acclaimed fan of Tina.
 In the music world realm, Tina Turner is considered "immortal." No, really. Rolling Stone magazine put her on their list of "The Immortals - The Greatest Artists of All Time" She's won 8 grammies. She's a hit. They weren't kidding when they put her on that list. She will really live forever in music history.

This post is dedicated to my "Tina," Kellie. Keep rollin'!

'Til next time!

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