Tina Turner and waking up Eastern Canada

Tina Turner staged one of the most remarkable comebacks.  Her solo career began as more of a lounger or cabaret act, she subsequently transformed to a grittier rock act and she played shows at The Ritz in New York. Those shows led to her performing with Rod Stewart and then supporting The Rolling Stones.  “Let’s Stay Together” was followed by “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” and “Private Dancer,” and the Private Dancer album was a huge success.  Tina won four Grammy Awards including Record of the Year. 

Tina toured to massive crowds on the Private Dancer Tour.  I remember booking a string of dates in eastern Canada, including St. John’s, Newfoundland, Moncton and Fredricton, New Brunswick, and Halifax, Nova Scotia with the promoter Donald Tarlton (aka Donald K. Donald).  Donald had created a complete media frenzy in northeastern Canada with Tina’s shows there; I don’t think they had many big international rock tours going through those cities (or at least not in many, many years), so it was a HUGE deal that she was performing there. And Donald made it seem as if this was the biggest thing EVER to hit those cities.  I remember him having me interviewed on the radio as the shows were going on sale; it seemed as if it was bigger than The Beatles.  It was a media blitz unparalled for Eastern Canada.  Those shows all sold out, and Tina gave amazing performances.

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