St. Louis-area musicians remember playing with Tina Turner

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:45 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Tina Turner died at her home in Switzerland Wednesday at 83 years old after a long illness, her manager said.

Turner, born Anna Mae Bullock, was born in Tennessee. She later lived in St. Louis and East St. Louis, where she performed with many local musicians before finding success on the national stage.

“I didn’t meet her in the early days, but I met her mom,” said Steve Schankman, musician and president of Contemporary Productions in Clayton. “Mrs. Bullock would give me a quarter, which was a lot of money when you’re 14 years old, you know, back in the 60s, to carry her two bags of groceries to her house.”

Schankman said he filled in for a trumpet player once when he first met Tina and Ike Turner.

Over her career, Schankman would work with Tina Turner to host shows in the Midwest and around the country.

“When we would go to Kansas City and do a date with her, or some other city, she was very relaxed,” he added. “In St. Louis, there was always a tension because the memories. But we had heard three, four years ago about the kidney problems and other issues that she was having.”

“After I heard her the first time, I thought, ‘Boy, this gal got it,” said popular St. Louis musician Bob Kuban. “I was playing drums with Ike Turner, and, you know, Tina first showed up, and he started using Tina.”

Kuban played with the duo at Club Imperial in St. Louis.

“She worked a lot here,” Kuban added. “Ike used her a lot.”