Throughout musical history many bands have recorded remakes of popular songs and every once in a while, that particular song becomes the band’s signature tune. Such was the case when Ike and Tina Turner recorded “Proud Mary.” The song was originally recorded by the California-based band Creedence Clearwater Revival. It became a hit in 1969 when it made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Ike and Tina Turner’s interpretation was definitely a deviation from the bluesy rock sound of CCR, although the first half starts out (as Tina famously put it), “nice and easy.” The second half is an in your face, soulful version, with a driving rhythm, blasting horn section and Tina’s signature lead vocal. Add to that a live performance with incredible choreography from Tina and the Ikettes, and that was all it took to transform the duo from an opening act for The Rolling Stones to worldwide headliners. In 1971, Ike and Tina’s version of “Proud Mary” made it to number four on the Billboard Pop chart and the following year, they received a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a group. In 2004 the song was listed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. “Proud Mary” has been covered dozens upon dozens of times by artists of all genres. Even Leonard Nimoy recorded a version of it…yes, Star Trek’s Dr. Spock recorded it in 1970 on his album, The New World of Leonard Nimoy. We’ll give him an “E” for effort, but we’ll stick with the nice and rough version from Ike and Tina.
Montrose Cunningham is an independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado residing in Dallas, Texas. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughter; sometimes both at the same time. Purchase his latest release “Inertia” at www.MontroseMusic.com, visit him online on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @MontroseC.