First, I must apologize for not reporting sooner on the 2016 Tina Turner Heritage Days but it is always difficult to write about an event that turned out to be some sort of life changing experience. It was a journey I had been looking forward to for years and after two weeks on the road with fellow TINA fan Dashon, time was finally there to discover the Tina Turner Museum and of course Nutbush, the lil’ old town in Tennessee.
After only a few minutes at the Heritage Center, I was already feeling like a member of the ‘U.S TINA Family’. Funny that after years spending time with my ‘European TINA Family’, I had never imagined that thousand of kilometers away, dozens of fans were talking about the same things that Sjef, Marco, Lars, Anja, me and all the other fans were also talking about. We call it TINA Triva, and it’s a thing that only a few people can get…
Seeing people like Laurel, Billy, Donovan that I didn’t see since the last tour back in 2009 was absolutely thrilling. And of course having my friends Anja, Cindy & Lucas with me and meeting new TINA fans (you know who you are) is always a blast. This year, people from all over the USA and the rest of the world were present to celebrate the legacy of Rock Legend, Tina Turner. Black, white, tall, small, young and old, all reunited because of this very special lady. All dancing and cheering, far from the turmoil of the outside world.
For this 5th edition, Delta Heritage Center director, the wonderful Sonia Outlaw Clark unveiled a wall dedicated to TINA paintings created by fans worldwide. The art looked beautiful but I have to admit that two specials paintings got my attention even more: ‘Proud Mary’ & ‘The Girl in the Field with no Name’ both painted by the very talented Quateisha Jackson. Have a look at her work on her FB page and don’t hesitate to contact her for more informations.
Saturday evening was the big event with four different artists paying tribute to Tina. The concert featured Larry Edwards, Donovan Marcelle, Luisa Marshall, ‘Samira Tina’ and was a real success. To add even more magic to this evening, Miss Robbie Montgomery, star of the reality show “Welcome To Sweety Pie” set the house on fire when she joined Donovan on stage for a special redention of the Ikettes classic ‘Peaches & Creams’. And just like after a Tina concert, people were asking for more. The energy was just unbelievable!
But of course a weekend in Nutbush wouldn’t be a weekend in Nutbush if there was not a visit of the community. First stop, Carver High School where Tina attended school before moving to St Louis. Next, Highway N°19 also known as ‘Tina Turner Highway’ and the little shop next to it where the ‘Birthplace of Tina Turner’ sign still stand strong. And then was the moment to see the place where little Anna Mae house used to stand. The house is no longer there, only field with cotton in bloom. A very emotional moment when suddenly reality seemed like out of time. I couldn’t stop thinking about the people living there back in the days, working in the cotton field under an unbearable heat… A last stop at Woodland Church where Anna Mae attended Sunday’s office and the cemetery in front of it where Benjamin Flagg and other Tina relatives are buried.
I use to have only one weekend per year to celebrate Tina’s Life & Music with other fans and it is during our annual fan birthday party but now I have two. And like our European TINA weekend, it was full of fun, music and love and I shall be back very soon because now Tina Turner fans , from all over the world, have a place where they can gather and have fun…
And they call it… Nutbush!
WATCH ‘TINA Heritage Days Documentary’ – By Ben