Thursday, June 19, 2008


Back in the 1960s, we Boomers all listened to a little gem of an R&B group known as the Ike & Tina Turner Revue. Ah, the Ikettes – you couldn’t have asked for better “backup” for Tina. Under Ike’s production, the Ikettes also recorded some singles of their own. It wasn’t always easy working for Ike (try to act surprised). At times he even had one set of Ikettes recording and touring their hit, and a different set performing with the Revue. Apparently he didn’t pay very well either, and the girls never received royalties. Because of all that messiness, it's understandable that there were frequent changes to the Ikettes roster. I counted at least 23 names on the list of Ikettes over the years. Not all their singles were hugely successful, but two in particular, “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)” from 1961, and “Peaches and Cream” from 1965 did quite well. Those songs are two of the best vintage R&B hits one could ever hope to hear. While Tina Turner deservedly gets a huge amount of attention for her amazing voice and delivery, it was really the complete and total package deal to see and hear all of them together. Whenever I play “I’m Blue” and “Peaches and Cream” in my van I crank it up and sing along like I’m the “fourth Ikette.” Fortunately it’s loud enough so I can’t really hear myself and spoil the illusion. And then I kind of drift off into fantasy, wondering…what must it be like to open your mouth and hear something like “the fortune teller told me my love with you was through” come out like that? Well, too bad I’ll never know. Not in this lifetime anyway.

Man, can they ever chew up those lyrics! This one will blow you away.
“I’m Blue (The Gong Gong Song)”

Honestly, wouldn't you rather dance to this at your wedding than "Wind Beneath My Wings"?
“Peaches and Cream”

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