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Ike & Tina & the Facts

July 04, 1993

Though I agree with much of what Robert Palmer wrote in his "What Ike Had to Do With It" (June 20), I think it is also important to keep the details straight.

First off, Ike's group on Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" was not the Kings of Rhythm, it was the Delta Cats. In early 1956, his constantly changing band became Ike Turner's Rhythm Rockers and later that same year it became the Kings of Rhythm, five full years after "Rocket 88."

I also agree about "I'm Tore Up," recorded for Federal in 1956, except it wasn't an Ike Turner release. As with Brenston being credited on "Rocket 88," Turner's vocalist Billy Gayles got label credit on "I'm Tore Up." Gayles, also known as Billy Gale, had recorded with Turner on and off since 1954.

Tina's earliest with Ike was not "A Fool in Love," but "Box Top," a calypso in the style of Billie & Lilie, on the tiny Tune Town label (a St. Louis outfit) with artist credit given to Turner, Carlson Oliver and Little Ann. Ann (Tina's real name was Annie Mae Bullock) sang in duet with Oliver. An original 45 of this treasure is worth hundreds.

STEVE PROPES

Long Beach

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