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Ike Turner & The Kings Of Rhythm

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Ike Turner

Ike Wister Turner. November 5, 1931 Clarksdale, Mississippi, USA. December 12, 2007 San Marcos, California, USA

Ike Turner was an American musician, bandleader, talent scout, and record producer. His first recording, “Rocket 88” by “Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats,” in 1951, is considered by some to be the “first rock and roll song” ever. However, he is best known for his work with his ex-wife Tina Turner as one half of the Ike & Tina Turner revue. Spanning a career that lasted half a century, Ike’s repertoire included blues, soul, rock, and funk. Alongside his former wife, he was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and in 2001 was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Turner won two Grammy Awards.

Turner was born in Clarksdale, Mississippi on November 5, 1931, to Beatrice Cushenberry, a seamstress and Izear Luster Turner, a Baptist minister. Ike was the younger of two siblings, he had an elder sister, Lee Ethel. Ike got his first taste of pleasing an audience at the age of eight working at the local Clarksdale radio station, WROX, located in the Alcazar Hotel in downtown Clarksdale. A man in charge of the station put Turner to work as he watched the record turntables. Said Turner: “ I got a job driving the elevator in the Alcazar and the radio station was on the second floor. It was very exciting to me, a radio station. I’d run up to the second floor and look through the window at the guy spinning records. He saw me and told me to come in and showed me how to ‘hold a record.’ I’d sit there and hold it until the one playing stopped, then I’d turn a knob and the one I was holding would play.

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