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Ike Turner: King of Rhythm Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: The Do-Not Press (1 Oct. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904316247
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904316244
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 85,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Ike Turner is one of the great unsung heroes of modern music. If he is known at all, it is as Mr Tina Turner: domineering, drug-crazed and violent. He was all of those things, perhaps a reason for the tut-tutting airbrush of history. Not a nice chap; but in musical terms he was deservedly the King of Rhythm. Now respected rock and blues writer John Collis has written the first major study of one of music's most complex characters. John Collis writes: 'If rock 'n' roll burst out with Little Richard's demonic Awopbopalula-awopbamboom, an inspired perversion of his sacred singing style, then its story requires what in the movie industry is now called a prequel. And the star of the prequel is Ike Turner. 'When he was 19 his band travelled to the Sun studios in Memphis and cut a car-loving boogie called Rocket 88, long predating Berry's fascination with the subject. Many people, including Sun owner Sam Phillips, have called this the first rock 'n' roll record. 'From then on, Ike Turner blazed a trail that influenced the whole of blues, R&B and rock 'n' roll music. I attempt to get behind the myth and reveal the real Ike Turner.' Includes the only complete Ike Turner discography in existance!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is worth a read certainly, but maybe not paying full price for, as I did. Similar to the Gene Vincent volume from the Do Not Press it is a nice looking, pretty short, big print book, with 110 pages of it being an thorough discography.

This didn't bother me, as I specifically wanted to get a scope of what 50s RnB hits Turner plays on, and the list runs to about 70 sides. I wish Collis had covered this period of Turner's life in more detail in the main text, only 70 pages are devoted to his pre-Tina life. Turner himself seems a mysterious man, I was hoping this book would separate the fact from the fiction a bit more. However when I saw two of the main sources referenced seem to be Turner's own autobiography, the 1999 'Takin' Back My Name' and Tina Turner's 1986 autobiography, my heart sank as I suspected this was going to be the same information trotted out that I can get from other places. There aren't any new interviews here, just a collection of material, but Collis does a good job of fashioning it into a coherent and well-written chronology.

Ike, like many musicians of his era, was I suspect a shameless self-mythologizer, a fabricator and a joker. Though he was quite consistant in his stories over the years, the details change slightly in different interviews, and I think some of them would bear closer scrutiny. Surprisingly, unlike a lot of other music icons, his claims never seem to have been challenged much, with everything taken pretty much at face value.
I would like greater scrutiny given to stories such as the one that his father was beaten and left for dead by a white mob, then refused access to the white hospital.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Blackwell on 30 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you don't know a lot about Ike Turner this is a good introduction. I don't know how many people realise that Ike Turner was such a major player in the development of R&B way before his commerical success with Tina. I had read quite alot about Ike before seeing the contraversial film about Ike and Tina Turner. I don't think that you have to like the guy to appreciate his contribution. This book is a very objective view, well written and the right amount of detail. The discography is extensive. It makes you want to read more about Ike.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Mar. 2004
Format: Hardcover
Although in some people's opinion Ike Turner may seem like Tina Turner's 'drug hoover husband' but really that's only half of story many of portrayal of Ike Turner in the highly acclaimed film 'What's Love Got To Do With It'.This book gives a valued insight of the REAL Ike Turner,this is completely worth all of your money and another outstanding view of this book is how he indicates incedents of his interactions with Tina often resulting into conflict.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Modestly informative 18 Oct. 2011
By Mr. Kingfish - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This bio of Ike is OK, but doesn't add much new info if you've read Deep Blues or other bios of blues players. Ike was a major player in blues, which this book clearly delineates, and he shows up in the careers of many if not most of the major players: Muddy, Wolf, BB, Bobby, and of course Tina. I chose to read this rather than his autobiography because Ike is a musician, not a writer. Not sure whether I'd learn more from the auto-bio or not. All in all, a decent read, has a very good discography, and if you don't know much about the history of Ike Turner, a good place to start. No sugar coating. A reasonably honest appraisal of one of the most important blues artists who ever lived.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Classy, restrained work 30 Dec. 2011
By Phil S. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another Amazon reviewer really nailed it..."a good place to start", although I would add, a good place to revisit. Mr. Collis' prose is positively poetic: the Inroduction, just a few pages, is pure inspiration (and loveof the blues).

Always refreshing to read about a Musical legend without the "tormented genius" underpinning - and without the deatils most of us know about, the horror, the violence. The author does not look for childhood, or social issues, to explain the appalling behavior of someone who should know better, an artist, presumeably more sensitive, thinking deeper, looking for resolution.

Seems like that "resolution" was mostly in the return to the C7 chord...and in Anna mae's/Tina's departure.

We have a very helpful discography of singles and albums, with catalogue numbers and release dates; but no sessionography. Still, the Historian will enjoy the parenthetical mention of when Ike was present on another's record, guitar and/or piano.

Little Richard fans will enjoy the kind of "mutual admiration society" between Richard and Ike, reported here. Richard not only wrote a long foreward to Ike's autobiography but says that Ike is the *original* innovator of the new music! While Collis says that Ike found in "Little Ann" - Tina - his own "Little Richard". There's a disc listed including Little Ann and so we have the connection.

Ike Turner, good singer, guitarist, piano player; great arranger-producer (not only of his group many other solo acts and groups). Turner may not be *the* originator...but he just might be Rock's first Cartographer!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Myths are considered and realities profiled 4 Jun. 2004
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When soul musician Ike Turner was nineteen, his band traveled to Memphis and predated Chuck Berry's auto songs with the winning Rocket 88. His musical achievements and life sky-rocketed afterwards, and John Collins tracks Turner's evolution and achievement in his fine biography Ike Turner: King Of Rhythm. Myths are considered and realities profiled in an excellent presentation.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Arrived before expected! =) 8 April 2014
By Cathy Dyer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter needed this book for a huge presentation at school. It was awesome being able to locate it first of all and secondly it arrived early and the quality was great! Thanks again!!
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