The Art of the Obituary (5): Ike Turner

Ike Turner (November 5, 1931 – December 12, 2007)

Though his musical and entrepreneurial talent was enormous, he had been slow to break out of the “chittlin circuit” of black southern clubs. When he and Tina took off at last—with “A Fool in Love” in 1960—it was Tina’s raucous voice, not his pounding guitar in his own song, that made the difference. The same was true of their first million-seller, “Proud Mary” (1971), where the gyrating Tina stole the show from Ike, unsmiling behind her in his high fedora and dark glasses. With “River Deep—Mountain High”, it had been worse: Tina sang, Phil Spector produced his waterfalls of sound, and Mr Turner was barred from the recording sessions.

Perhaps that was why he beat her.

Excerpted from The Economist.