Clarksdale in Coahoma County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
Rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm & blues pioneer Ike Turner began his career playing blues and boogie woogie piano in Clarksdale. Turner was born less than a mile south-west of this site, at 304 Washington Avenue in the Riverton neighborhood, on November 5, 1931. In his pre-teen years he got a job here at the Hotel Alcazar, where he operated the elevator and did janitorial work. Turner later rose to fame as a deejay, producer, and leader of the Kings of Rhythm band and the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.
Ike Turner, a perfectionist driven to create, take charge, and succeed, filled many roles during an illustrious but controversial career. Although best known for his turbulent years with Tina Turner in the 1960s and ‘70s, he had already emerged as an important musical figure while still a teenager in Clarksdale, years before the Ike & Tina phenomenon began.
His father, Izear Luster Turner, a carpenter, railroad employee and preacher, died when Ike was seven, and he went to work to help his mother, seamstress Beatrice Turner. When she bought him a piano, Turner ditched formal lessons to listen
In March of 1951 Turner took the group to Memphis , where they recorded several songs including the No. 1 R&B hit often regarded as the first rock ‘n’ roll record, “Rocket ‘88’,” featuring Jackie Brenston on vocals with the band credited as the Delta Cats. Turner busily arranged for other artists, including Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, and Little Milton, to record for Chess, Sun, Modern, and other labels during the next few years at various sites around the South, often traveling with the Bihari brothers of Modern Records. He also produced sessions in Clarksdale at WROX, at the Greyhound bus maintenance shop, and in his own studio.
Erected 2010 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 111.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. In addition, it is included in the Grammy Award Winners 🎶, and the Mississippi Blues Trail 🎶 series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1951.
Location. 34° 12.094′ N, 90° 34.408′ W. Marker is in Clarksdale, Mississippi, in Coahoma County. Marker is at the intersection of 3rd Street and Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 127 3rd Street, Clarksdale MS 38614, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. WROX Radio (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Festival (about 400 feet away); Delta Blues Museum (about 400 feet away); W. C. Handy (about 500 feet away); Wade Walton (about 500 feet away); Carnegie Public Library (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sam Cooke (approx. 0.2 miles away); Clarksdale (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clarksdale.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on Ike Turner. (Submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Ike Turner Biography. (Submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 375 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 28, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.