Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ron Johnson and Stan Lewis worked with the late Ike Turner, remembers Shreveport musician Bruce Flett

Windstorm 1990s
Originally uploaded by trudeau
In the Windstorm photo above is guitarist Ron Johnson (far right), a pillar of the Shreveport music scene. For years Johnson was second guitarist for Ike Turner, says Bruce Flett in a note on Turner and Shreveport.

"Ike had many associations with Shreveport. Two men that can verify dozens of Ike Turner stories are Shreveporters Stan the Record Man Lewis and Ron Johnson, lead guitarist of Windstorm and many other bands.

Turner spent many years as a talent scout and producer. He helped start the careers of - some say 'discovered' - BB King, Howlin' Wolf, Bobby Bland, Junior Parker, Elmore James, and of course, Tina Turner, whose real name is Dorothy Prime.

In the early 1950's a teenaged Turner riding in the back seat of a brand new Buick convertible pulled up to 710 Texas Avenue with the Bihari Brothers - owner of Modern / Kent Records of Los Angeles. There they teamed up with Stan Lewis to distribute the records that the Biharis were releasing with the help of Ike Turner, the producer.

Stan's association with Ike would continue in years to come, releasing a stunning Ike Turner CD recorded in Chicago at Cobra studios with the same band that recorded "Rocket 88," called a seminal cut in musical history. Lewis later released a CD of Ike & Tina Tuner featuring previously unreleased cuts.

Ron Johnson was second guitarist for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue for years. Ike was a bit of a svengali to have as your boss. But Ike liked Ron's playing, especially his Hendrix-style licks.

Ike, incidentally, was one of The first blues guitarists to use a Fender Stratocaster. He used one on Otis Rush's first records. Some of the Rush guitar solos were actually Ike!"

You can enjoy more such stories if you catch Bruce on break from making history with the Bluebirds. They're at Lee's Lounge, King's Hwy, from 9 to 1 am on Sat, Dec 15. Listen to them at Superior bar and Grill on Line Ave, Sun, Dec 16, 6:30 to 10 pm.

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