The Ikettes Biography

This female R&B trio was formed by Ike Turner as part of his revue and was used for chorusing. Throughout the 60s and 70s, there were several line-ups of Ikettes, each of which provided a stunning visual and aural complement on stage to the performances of Ike And Tina Turner. Ike Turner occasionally recorded the group, with results that emphasized their tough, soulful R&B sound, much like his work with Tina. The original group was formed from the Artettes - Robbie Montgomery, Frances Hodges and Sandra Harding - who were the backing vocalists for the St. Louis singer Art Lassiter. They provided the chorus sound to Ike And Tina Turner’s first hit, ‘A Fool In Love.’ On the first recordings of the Ikettes in 1962, the group consisted of Delores Johnson (lead), Eloise Hester and ‘Joshie’ Jo Armstead (Josephine Armstead, 8 October 1944, Yazoo City, Mississippi, USA). They recorded the hit ‘I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)’ (number 3 R&B, number 19 pop) for Atco Records in 1962. The best-known group of Ikettes were Vanetta Fields, Robbie Montgomery and Jessie Smith, a line-up formed in the St. Louis area around 1963. They recorded for the Modern Records label, including the hits ‘Peaches ‘N’ Cream’ (number 28 R&B, number 36 pop) and ‘I’m So Thankful’ (number 12 R&B, number 74 pop), both in 1965. This group left Turner in 1968 and enjoyed a big hit as the Mirettes in 1968 with a remake of the Wilson Pickett hit, ‘In The Midnight Hour’ (number 18 R&B, number 45 pop). Later line-ups of Ikettes included several singers who developed careers of their own, notably P.P. Arnold, Claudia Lennear and Bonnie Bramlett (who formed the duo Delaney And Bonnie).

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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