Sunday, March 27, 2005

Durham Gal notes Tina Turner for Women's History Month

Durham Gal: Tina Turner is "simply the best" to quote one of her songs. Outside of Oprah Winfrey, who actually got Tina to give a recent concert, I don't think there's a bigger Tina Turner fan than me.

How can anyone not that love that voice? It's so powerful.

And so is Tina Turner. She was part of a musical act and endured constant abuse from her husband but she found the guts and will to leave him and start over and all she took from the marriage was her name and all the debts for a tour she walked out on to leave Ike Turner.

She worked her way the back the hard way. That just made her eighties comeback all the more amazing. I'll never forget hearing "Let's Stay Together" on the radio the first time. I knew it was Tina and she was back. When BET started playing the video, I would gather anyone in the house into the living room and make them watch. Then the album Private Dancer came out and I had to get it that first day on cassette tape. Back then, in the old school days, we listened to cassettes. I've got it now on CD and they added a song to the CD version which is Tina's cover of the Beatles' classic "Help."

I like the Beatles and it's not often I hear a remake that I think actually improves on what they did but Tina really found the heart and soul of "Help." She slowed it down and gave real meaning to lines like "when I was younger, so much younger than today."

Reading Billy's thing on Aretha Franklin Friday made me get off my procrastinating butt to jot down something about Tina. I think Aretha and Tina would both be better off not working with producers who want to make them over. I enjoyed 24 7 but was really surprised that Tina's version of Prince's "Baby I'm a Star" wasn't on the CD.

Like Aretha, Tina's always found a way to add something to any song she covered and my dream of a new Tina CD would be Tina covering songs by Prince, the Rolling Stones (I'd really love to hear her do "Out of Touch"), and others. "Change is Gonna' Come" is probably my favorite song of her's on the live album but I even enjoy the sing along on "Addicted to Love."
I think when she decides to cover a song she loves she brings a lot more to it than something some producer is telling her that "the kids will love!"

She made "When the Heartache Is Over" she invested a lot of energy into it and made it a good song but listening I kept thinking some guy had told her "Cher just had a hit with 'Believe.' This will be your 'Believe!'" I think she's better off going to Sam Cooke and the Beatles catalogue of songs and finding a way to add her voice to those.

An amazing voice like that really benefits from a strong song and the power of that voice is enough to pull me through a bad day. I'll go put on some Tina CDs, pour myself a glass of wine and start singing and dancing along. I've done that for years, even when my kids were still young and living with me, and it's always pulled me out of any funk.

She's a powerful woman with a powerful voice and her voice has picked me up many times over the years.

[Note: Durham Gal picked "One of the Living" as her favorite song back on February 6th.]