(Gonna be some sweet sounds… Coming down, on the Night Shift (The Commodores)

Ok, so you might say yes Tina Turner was an awesome performing artist, but why talk about her on a political blog?  Well, there was more to the lady, lots more than her skills as a musician, actor and producer.  If you want to know more The Hollywood Reporter has a nice write-up you can view at this link.

Tina Turner’s husband Ike brutalized her for sixteen years.  She broke free of him and at a time when even for someone part of a well-known musical act it meant starting life over with nothing.  It’s by no means easy for women now, but back when Tina went through her divorce it was far worse for not just a woman, but a black woman to be taken seriously in her industry.  She struggled mightily but through the force of her talent and will became so much more, accomplished so much more than her P.O.S. husband ever did!  And she became a feminist icon, one of the early ones.  Over time she’d realize how empowering her story, what she overcame and her success in spite of the obstacles thrown in her way meant to so many.

One doesn’t have to be a fan of either her music or her acting to appreciate and even be inspired by her.  As an entertainer, I’d be willing to bet many of that wave of female politicians that rose up in that “Year of the woman” election of 1992 were inspired at least in part by Tina Turner.  Who looked at her success, knew what she overcame to achieve it and thought “If she can do THAT, maybe I can break another part of the glass ceiling  Same for women in other fields I’m sure.

Tina Turner struck up a friendship with Lionel Ritchie and even spent time opening for him.  Given that Ritchie was the lead singer for The Commodores and that often when I think both of loves ones and famous people, musicians in particular who have passed on their beautiful song Night Shift comes to mind.  While it specifically pays tribute to Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson it of course is meant to apply to so many more.  Whether they are entertainers, famous for other reasons or just loved ones or people we’ve known personally and admired the “Night Shift” is for them all.

And I can assure you if there is a heaven, Tina Turner is already welcomed by the musicians already on “The Night Shift” adding a new dynamic to the “Sweet sounds… Coming down, on the Night Shift”

(Note: Yes, I know Lionel Ritchie had left the group for a solo career several years before this came out.  But I’m sure of two things.  He loved this song which was his former bandmate’s biggest hit after his departure, and that he’s listened to or watched this more than once since the news of Turner’s passing broke)

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    • She might not have set out to be a leader, and an inspiration but that’s what she became. And she provided an awful lot a entertainment to countless millions in the process. I’ve always love the song Night Shift. Although it brings tears every time they are because of good memories. If there is a heaven the proverbial Night Shift will be having a long, long night indeed. Jamming up a storm. Get all the great performers together to welcome a new artist into the mix and oh my what a concert it would be!

  1. Not meant to be snarky but Richie was no longer with the Commodores for “Night Shift” (he did, however, write a tribute to Gaye–the song “Missing You” that Lionel gave to Diana Ross since she had her own connection to Gaye).
    I will add that Tina was one of my very first concerts. I saw her in Atlanta in early 2000 (just a note here that I wasn’t some young’un but, for personal and financial reasons, I just didn’t have a chance to go to concerts before then; but I digress) and IT WAS AN EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!! I was literally on my feet the entire time Tina was on stage–sitting only when she left for the occasional costume change. And she sang and danced and shimmied virtually every major hit from 1960 (“A Fool in Love”) through Y2K.
    As a bonus, her main opener (her first opener, performing while the audience was still filtering in, was a young woman named Janice Robinson) was none other than Lionel Richie himself, performing mostly his solo era stuff but he did a short Commodores medley (complete with a full Afro wig).
    Tina was part of my Trinity of performers I HAD to see (Madonna and Prince were the others and I managed to see both of them by 2005) but Tina was first and she set the bar. Of course, I’ve been lucky and haven’t been disappointed with anyone I’ve seen (well, aside from the shows ending too soon for my tastes).

  2. That voice! Those legs! And dancing in spiked heels! She was an amazing talent and will be missed. Yes, Heaven’s choir has gained another member.

  3. I grew up listening to Motown. One of the happiest moments of my life as a Navy Wife (I may not have been the worst one in history but I suspect I made the Top 100 ) was a New Year’s party in Japan at the military hotel in Tokyo when just at midnight the Drifters showed up! We had wanted to.go see them.but $75 per person for standing room was way over our price range.
    Tina,was the best. Courageous, so brilliantly talented and an outstanding role model for women.Just an amazing woman who will.live forever as lo g as there is music.
    And Angela Bassett was robbed of an Oscar for playing her.
    Farewell to the Queen of rock’n’roll

    FYI when Ike finally keeper over,I write an obituary at Daily Kos refuting all the overgrown adolescent males raving about his talent by pointing out what a garbage PoS he was, they pitched hissy fits that Scarlett O’Hara would envy. “He was such a great blues guitarist!” As if that somehow excused his physical, emotional,and verbal abuse of this great lady for 16 years.
    Sometimes I hate some liberal men. There is a swathe of them who are liberal.about everything except looksism, rape, sexual harassment and abuse of women. They whine about false reports and how sexual harassment is really just a compliment and women should thank the man. I was groped and nearly raped by a supervisor at 20. It was not a complimemt.

  4. thanks for the memories but one of Tina’s other accomplishments was living with kidney failure, being on dialysis and then getting the gift of a second life due to a living donor kidney transplant. She obviously had issues with rejection as one could see, but I also live with kidney failure as do millions of others and a lasting legacy would be for people to sign the organ donor register and make your wishes known. I walked down the aisle to Simply the Best when I remarried, my husband died 9 months ago but Tina and he lives on in the music


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