It’s hard to believe 60 years have passed since Grammy award-winning American singer Tina Turner made her first record! The R&B and soul diva rose to fame in the 1960s, when she sang with her then husband, Ike Turner.
Back in 1958, she had only just left school, but was already taking her first steps on the road to stardom. Following her graduation from Sumner High School in St Louis, she cut a record called Box Top with husband-to-be, Ike.
In the early days, she went under the name Little Ann, as her real name is Anna Mae Bullock. Born and brought up in Nutbush, Tennessee, she sang in the choir at the Spring Hill Baptist Church. After graduation, her ambition was to become a nurse and she found employment as a nurse’s aide at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
However, after going to a local nightclub called Club Manhattan and watching Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm perform live, she realised she wanted to be a singer. She asked if she could audition for them. She was handed the microphone during an intermission and the band liked what they heard, so she was invited to join.
Ike and Tina Turner
In 1960, Anna recorded a song written by Ike, called A Fool in Love, which received radio airplay. The president of Sue Records, Juggy Murray, heard the track and paid $25,000 for the recording and publishing rights. Ike and Tina’s road to fame had begun in earnest.
Anna had changed her stage name to Tina, and after marrying in 1962, the duo of Ike and Tina Turner was officially born, going on to dominate the music scene in the 1960s and ’70s, until their divorce in 1978.
Tina has enjoyed a hugely successful international solo career since splitting with Ike, with hits including Private Dancer, What’s Love Got to Do With It, We Don’t Need Another Hero, Better Be Good to Me, Steamy Windows and many more.
Her solo career is even more successful than her years as part of the Ike and Tina Turner partnership. As well as singing, she has also starred in several films, including Mad Max: Thunderdome alongside Mel Gibson in 1985 – her song, We Don’t Need Another Hero, was on the soundtrack.
She was the queen of soul and disco in the late 1970s and ’80s, when her raunchy hits such as Steamy Windows were dance floor fillers. The song was written by Tony White and produced by Dan Hartman, who was famous for many disco blockbusters, including Instant Replay. Hartman played piano and Hammond organ on the recording.
The song made the singles charts across Europe and in the United States, Canada and New Zealand. In particular, the dance version of Steamy Windows, remixed by Murray Elias and Justin Strauss, was a big hit in nightclubs.
The song received plenty of airplay, despite its suggestive lyrics, which referred to a couple driving home down a back road after a night out and getting “snuggled up on the back seat”.
The lyrics are sung from a man’s point of view, as he says there’s “something about competition on a back road” that “breaks down defences”, suggesting they have pulled over after an impromptu car race with another driver.
He mentions the “radio blasting in the front seat” as they begin “making up for lost time”, with the car’s steamy windows “coming from the body heat” and ensuring there’s “zero visibility” to anyone looking in from outside.
Tina continued to record hit records throughout the 1990s, including the theme from the James Bond film, Golden Eye, in 1995, On Silent Wings in 1996 and When the Heartache is Over in 1999.
She also continued to embark on gruelling world tours, until she announced her retirement from touring in 2008 with her “Tina: 50th Anniversary Tour” when she was 67. Her athletic performance on stage defied the fact she had been in show business since the 1950s and she had lost none of her spark.
Essentially, Tina is now retired from the music industry, although she makes the occasional appearance and recording. She is married to German record executive Erwin Bach and the couple now live in Switzerland.
Steamy Windows is a great disco classic, although in reality, it’s the last thing anyone wants! When you have double glazing and the seal on the glass breaks, condensation can cause windows and doors to mist up.
With 30 years’ experience, if you’re having problems with steamy windows, contact Slide or Fold on 0121 525 1977.