Nutbush, Tennessee

Nutbush City Limits by Ike & Tina Turner

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No whiskey for sale
You can't cop no bail
Salt pork and molasses
Is all you get in jail Read full Lyrics
Tina Turner's childhood home in Nutbush along SR-19
(thanks, Nathan, Flickr
"What's in a name?" once wrote Will Shakespeare, and Tina Turner's song title seems to suit the question. Nutbush in Tennessee is an unincorporated town, meaning, by law, it doesn't have any city limits. But hey, Tina comes from Nutbush and that's good enough for me.

Tina and Ike were once an item and one of their first hits was this very song. Tina sang and Ike produced the 1973 recording which did well in the USA and spectacularly well in the United Kingdom. The original recording had a funky feel, but after Tina dumped Ike, she dumped the song's feel and changed it to a full-blown rock 'n roll belter.

When Tina was touring in the mid 1980s, a live recording of the song was used to promote her then new album Tina Live in Europe. Strangely, the live version used in the promotion wasn't the same version as appeared on the album. Neither the song nor the album did much business. But for trivia buffs, the interesting but useless piece of information here is that the single released was one of the first ever on a compact disc – a newish invention in the late 1980s.

Nutbush Tina Turner Highway
You've got to hand it to Tina in the not-sticking-to-the-same-old-arrangement stakes. After former hubby Ike's version in '73, she did her rocky version in '88, then came a modern dance version for her '91 album Simply the Best, which did well in the UK and several other European countries. Tina was a hit in Italy, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. And then came yet another version, this time an extended recording complete with a video of the tourist spots of dear old Nutbush. Called A Little Bit o'Bush, it played well in the UK, although just how many Brits put the landmarks of the unincorporated town in their must-visit holiday planner is unknown.

Tina Turner has been rewarded for her tourism promotion as much as for her musical contributions. There's a section of the road between Nutbush and Brownsville in Tennessee which has been officially re-named as Tina Turner Highway.

But not everything goes to plan. Tina's home in Nutbush is no more, and her museum is in Brownsville, the town just down the Tina Turner Highway. But as Nutbush is only an hour from Memphis, any genuine music lover could check out the museum of another local, the one called Presley, and then make a short detour to downtown Nutbush. Cotton may need to be high on your list of must-see attractions, and once there, you could copy Tina - who got out of town as soon as she could.
~ Cenarth Fox Nutbush City Limits Songfacts
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Comments: 3

  • Jackie Wallace from Brownsville TnLove Tina Turner going to the museum
  • Johnny The Brick from Hudson, Floridavery interesting, we will be riding through in November on Harleys and will stop in at Nutbush and Brownsville on our way yo Memphis for Ribs...yum-yum, does Tina ever come back to look around or just talk to people?
  • LesNot bad for a little girl that the old fashion black folk ran away and rejected
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