Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Watch Tina Turner Flip the Rock Script and Usher in the Seventies With ‘Proud Mary’ on ‘Ed Sullivan’

Ike and Tina’s indelible cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival song became a massive hit in 1971 and remained one of Tina’s signature songs

Tina Turner performing on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1970

IT WAS ALL happening for Tina and Ike Turner in 1970. They’d spent the Sixties building a steady head of steam in the U.S., and especially abroad, with hits like “So Fine,” and their rendition of Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Their biggest smash wouldn’t come until 1971 — though Tina and Ike were already teasing it at the start of the new decade on The Ed Sullivan Show.

The Ike and Tina Turner Revue brought their barnstorming rendition of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary” to The Ed Sullivan Show on Jan. 11, 1970. More than 50 years later — and on the occasion of Tina’s death on Wednesday, May 24 — the performance remains as electrifying as ever, encapsulating everything that made Tina Turner one of rock & roll and popular music’s most formidable singers, dancers, and performers.

Ike and Tina’s cover of “Proud Mary” appeared on their 1970 album Workin’ Together, though it wasn’t released as a single until 1971 (it eventually peaked at Number Four on the Billboard Hot 100). They started playing the song in 1969 — the same year Creedence released the original — making it a highlight of their set list as they opened for the Rolling Stones in the fall of that year. The song remained one of Tina’s signature tunes throughout her career; even after more than 1,000 performances of the song, she was still delivering it with unparalleled gusto at her final concert, in 2009.