Text by Dawoud Kringle
The music world was shocked to hear of the passing of Tina Turner.
Born Anna Mae Bullock in Brownsville TN and raised in Nutbush, TN, on November 26, 1939, she began her interest in singing with the church choir at Nutbush’s Spring Hill Baptist Church. She first saw Ike Turner (who, it should be noted, played guitar on “Rocket 88” by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats; which historians believe was the first ever Rock & Roll record) perform with The Kings of Rhythm in East St. Louis. She asked Turner to let her sing in his band, but he refused. One night in 1957, during an intermission, she grabbed a microphone and sang BB King’s “You Know I Love You.” Turner was impressed and she became a featured vocalist with his band.
In 1960, Ike Turner wrote and produced a single for Art Lassiter called “A Fool in Love.” Lassiter failed to show up for the session, and Bullock sang on it. It charted at No. 27 on Billboard’s 100. Their next single “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” reached No. 14 on the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B chart in 1961, earning them a Grammy.