I, Tina: My Life Story
  • I, Tina: My Life Story
  • I, Tina: My Life Story

I, Tina: My Life Story

by Tina Turner

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“Splendid...this is rock history with substance!” —Susan Brownmiller, Newsday

“What a tale she has to tell!” — Liz Smith, New York Daily News

A reissue of the one of the most fascinating and dramatic true stories in show business history—the massive bestseller I, Tina, in which the legendary Tina

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“Splendid...this is rock history with substance!” —Susan Brownmiller, Newsday

“What a tale she has to tell!” — Liz Smith, New York Daily News

A reissue of the one of the most fascinating and dramatic true stories in show business history—the massive bestseller I, Tina, in which the legendary Tina Turner tells all about her life and career: from her humble beginnings in Nut Bush, TN; to her turbulent and volatile marriage to Ike Turner; and, finally, to her triumphant return and massive success.

Editorial Reviews

Susan Brownmiller
“Splendid...this is rock history with substance!”
Liz Smith
“And what a tale she has to tell!”
“A page-tuner!”
People Magazine
"A page-tuner!"
Library Journal
Tina's autobiography is just what you'd expect from the fiery superstar: high-powered, sexy, honest, with apparently nothing held back. Tina was neglected as a child and abandoned at age 10. At 18 she hooked up with talented piano player Ike Turner; two years later, in 1960, they had their first hit record. The couple enjoyed considerable material success, but life with Ike became hell on earth. In 1976, Tina got out, giving up all rights to her and Ike's assets to gain her freedom. Flat broke, she started a comeback that culminated with Private Dancer, her award-winning, multi-million selling, worldwide smash album. Tina has somehow remained compassionate, generous, sober, a gutsy survivor who never lost faith in her exceptional singing and performing talents. A good choice for public libraries. Thomas Jewell, Waltham P.L., Mass.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.63(d)

Read an Excerpt

I, Tina

Chapter One

Nut Bush

It is a sun-dappled late-summer morning in Nut Bush, Tennessee, sometime in the early forties. A meandering breeze ruffles the poplars and pecan trees along State Highway 19, and the air is heavy with honeysuckle perfume. Fields of brown sorghum, soybeans, sweet corn, and blossoming cotton blanket the gently rolling countryside. Strawberries abound, and peach trees thick with fruit. There is about the scene a feeling of deep rural repose: the occasional buzz of a hornet, the halfhearted peck of an odd stray hen scratching amid the clumps of cowitch begonia, perhaps the soft flip-and-splash of a hooked perch in some nearby fern-banked pond, or a supperbound catfish in one of the creeks. And now, out of the backwoods, the unhurried clop of a family field horse bearing five small brown children down Forked Deer Road toward its oblique juncture with the two-lane highway.

As their horse draws nearer the main thoroughfare, the kids can hear the intermittent clatter of cars and farm pickups motoring up and down Number 19, headed either for the more substantial town of Ripley some six miles to the northwest — up along that part of the Arkansas border formed by the Mississippi River, wending its way south from St. Louis down through the Delta to New Orleans — or for Brownsville, fifteen miles to the south and east; or, farther southwest, another forty-five miles or so, Memphis. Few outlanders are likely to entertain Nut Bush itself as a destination. It is a sparsely inhabited mile-long burp in the road, its populace — maybe fifty families — tucked away like weevils in thesurrounding pastures, groves, and hollows. Just one in a string of such faintly evident settlements scattered along Highway 19. Passing through — en route to Ripley, say — a motorist might notice the Nut Bush cotton gin, where the annual crop is purged of its seed and prepared for baling. Or, across the highway, Gause's general store, gas pump out front, dry goods and diverse provisions within. Farther along: the Edders Grove Elementary School, a two-room wooden building attended by the children of the area's black farm workers. Next, on the right, a kind of candy shack-cum-honkytonk, owned by Miss Alglee Flowler, where by day kids buy crackers and soda and country bologna, and at night their elders crowd into the sixteen-foot-square back room to snozzle beer and perhaps stomp around to the sounds of Mr. Bootsy Whitelaw, an itinerant trombonist of local note. Finally, backed off a bit from Number 19, there is the Woodlawn Baptist Church, a tidy stack of dignified red bricks adorned by crisp white wooden pillars, where on Sundays the elders stoke their spiritual resolve for another week of strenuous endeavor.

And that, for Nut Bush, is about it. An outhouse here, a pit-dog pen there. Not much.

For the five kids on the horse, however, it is a capacious and comforting world. They are Joe Melvin Currie and his older sister, Margaret; their two first-cousins: Alline Bullock, who, like Margaret, is about age seven, and Alline's sister — younger by nearly three years and tiny by any measure — Anna Mae; and the Bullock girls' older half sister, Evelyn. Well before reaching the highway, they rein up at the drowsy intersection of Forked Deer and Tibbs Road, just behind the gin house, and slide off their snuffling horse in front of Elvis Stillman's clapboard grocery, where a cold bottle of Coke costs a nickel, and for a bit more there's ice cream to be had as well. They're chattering absently, as small children will, but they politely defer to whatever adults are present, especially white ones. Relations among whites and blacks and the scattered intermarried Indians hereabouts are generally cordial, all things considered; but Tennessee, like the rest of the South, is officially segregated. Some black groups, such as the recently formed Congress of Racial Equality — CORE — up North in Chicago, have begun questioning this social arrangement with considerable animation (and a new political tactic: the "sit-in"). But among rural blacks, an elaborate code of deferential behavior still obtains. In any case, the five kids don't linger long at Stillman's. But as they clamber back on the horse and set a leisurely, laughing course for their homes less than a mile away, they carry with them a happy sense of event, of having done something.

Two of the smaller girls wear their hair in the tight little plaits thought proper for young black daughters, pickaninny twists that poke out like thorns on their gently bobbing heads. But the third, Anna Mae, safely away from parental purview, has undone her mother's patient braidwork and gathered her full reddish hair into a rough ponytail at the back, revealing an already exotic facial geography of elegant broad bones, richly sculpted lips, honey-toned skin, smooth as a breezeless sea, and eyes like tiny brown beacons.

The woman who would one day be Tina Turner was born Anna Mae Bullock at the tail end of another age. By 1939, tensions in the world, long building, were yielding to turmoil. In September, when the Nazis, abetted by the Soviets, sandbagged Poland, England and France finally declared war on the troublesome Huns. In Paris, a physicist named Frédéric Joliot-Curie demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of a nuclear chain reaction. In the U.S. Albert Einstein pondered the possibility of an atomic bomb.

Such events still seemed safely remote to most Americans, however, and the U.S. remained politically neutral amid the bad news from abroad. There were, after all, more effervescent diversions. This was the year Garbo laughed in Ninotchka, the year of Gone With the Wind and Gunga Din, of Buck Rogers, The Wizard of Oz, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Pan American Airways inaugurated regular flights to London aboard its Dixie Clipper. In New York, Edwin Armstrong, a Columbia University professor, discovered frequency modulation...

I, Tina. Copyright (c) by Tina Turner . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

Susan Brownmiller
“Splendid...this is rock history with substance!”
Liz Smith
“And what a tale she has to tell!”

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