Scenes from a Curriculum Vitae: Ike Turner & Associates
January 4, 2013 3:43 AM   Subscribe

On piano at 71: Ike Turner & The Kings of Rhythm - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy
On piano at 20: Howlin' Wolf - How Many More Years
On guitar at 34 and on fire at 26: Ike and Tina Turner - Shake·A Fool in Love·It's Gonna Work Out Fine·Please, Please, Please·Goodbye, So Long

In his time, he performed with more than one force of nature.
posted by y2karl (11 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I saw the The Big T.N.T. Show when it came out in 1966 at the Fox Watson Theater in Salina, Kansas. Ike and Tina Turner's turn therein left an indelible impression.
posted by y2karl at 3:45 AM on January 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

One of my favorite funk songs is Ike Turner's Funky Mule.

Ike Turner is also the subject of the greatest/worst news headline ever.
posted by furtive at 4:26 AM on January 4, 2013

Wow, you are fortunate indeed to have seen that TNT show in 1966. I am Officially Jealous. Ike Turner was one hella bandleader, for sure, he ran a very tight ship.

I'm pretty embarrassed that I didn't know he was on piano on the Wolf classic How Many More Years. Damn! Thanks so much for pointing that out with this post, y2!

On the subject of the funky chestnut Mercy Mercy Mercy, lotsa folks who've heard it over the years in one version or another and who've also heard 70s *fusion* superstars Weather Report still don't necessarily know that it was Weather Report's keyboard/synth wizard and guiding light Joe Zawinul who wrote Mercy Mercy Mercy. Back when he was with Cannonball Adderley. That incredibly popular and oft-covered tune probably deserves a post of its own! It has surely got to be THE funkiest tune ever written by an Austrian. Period.

The Ike and Tina Turner Revue's shows during the incredible "Soul To Soul" Ghana tour of 1971 are absolutely electrifying, and that entire movie is highly recommended, actually. This montage (set to the Revue's music and featuring them heavily in the film snippets) gives a good taste of the movie, which really should be seen by any and all soul/R&B fans.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:38 AM on January 4, 2013

Wow, you are fortunate indeed to have seen that TNT show in 1966.

That movie also had Bo Diddley and the Ronettes among its highpoints. .
posted by y2karl at 5:07 AM on January 4, 2013

The man taught Elvis how to make race records!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:22 AM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Yeah, that was Zawinul, pre-synths. I think before he played with Miles, too. I think Zawinul said he got into the Fender Rhodes at that time by playing gigs in Army bases, where they increasingly had Rhodes pianos, instead of a half-dead old upright piano.
posted by thelonius at 6:39 AM on January 4, 2013

posted by growabrain at 9:12 AM on January 4, 2013

Ike Turner had a lot of problems & faults as a human being, but he was a multi-talented musician who could play, arrange and lead a band extremely well, as these clips help to demonstrate.

As for "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" - didn't Zawinul actually play a Wurlitzer electric piano, rather than a Rhodes, on the Cannonball Adderley recording? The keyboard on this version sure sounds like a Wurly to me. (I know that Zawinul used a Rhodes extensively during his career, just talking about this particular song...)
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 11:45 AM on January 4, 2013

It has surely got to be THE funkiest tune ever written by an Austrian.

are you sure about that?

alles klar?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:41 PM on January 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

You may be right. I'm using "Rhodes" in a generic way I guess (like "Fender bass" on old charts)
posted by thelonius at 7:28 AM on January 7, 2013

And here we have not only Mercy, Mercy, Mercy with lyrics written and sung by Larry Williams and Johnny 'Guitar' Watson but Two For the Price of One from their album of the same name as well.
posted by y2karl at 12:58 AM on January 18, 2013

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