Tina Turner didn’t just cover Dolly Parton on her debut solo album — she took a try at songs by Hank Snow, Kris Kristofferson and more.
In fact, Turner’s cover of “Help Me Make It Through the Night” (recorded by Sammi Smith four years earlier) may be the best of Tina Turns the Country On!. The 1974 release shows her power and range as a solo vocalist. After a slow, tender opening, you’ll recognize the gritty blues and R&B voice that came to define her.
That voice is gone now, as Tina Turner died on Wednesday (May 24). She was 83.
“Bayou Song” is the only original of the 10 songs that made up Tina Turns the Country On! The rest are country and folk covers by the aforementioned artists, plus Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Olivia Newton-John.
Turner sings “There’ll Always Be Music” on the LP. Parton had cut the song with Porter Wagoner a couple years earlier, so it was fresh on listeners’ minds. No song from the album became a hit, however, as none were released to radio.
Tina Turns the Country On! did earn a Grammy nomination, though, in the Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female category.
Turner — whose hit songs include “Proud Mary,” “The Best” and “What’s Love Got to Do With It” — died after a long illness on Wednesday. Her family confirms the news, saying:
Tina Turner, the ‘Queen of Rock ‘n Roll,’ has died peacefully today at the age of 83 after a long illness in her home in Kusnacht near Zurich, Switzerland,” they said. “With her, the world loses a music legend and a role model.