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"Nutbush City Limits"
Single by Ike & Tina Turner
from the album Nutbush City Limits
B-side "Help Him"
Released 1973
Format 7" single
Genre R&B, Rock
Length 2:57
Label United Artists Records
Writer(s) Tina Turner
Producer Ike Turner
"Nutbush City Limits (Live)"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album Tina Live in Europe
B-side "Overnight Sensation" (Live), "Legs" (Live)
Released 1988
Format 7" single
12" single
CD single
Genre Pop, Rock
Length 3:30
Label Capitol Records
Writer(s) Tina Turner
Producer John Hudson
Tina Turner singles chronology
"Nutbush City Limits" (Live)
"Addicted to Love (Live)"
"Nutbush City Limits (The 90s Version)"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album Simply The Best
Format 7" single
12" single
CD single
Genre Pop/Dance
Length 3:42
Label Capitol Records
Writer(s) Tina Turner
Producer Tina Turner & Roger Davies
Tina Turner singles chronology
"It Takes Two (duet with Rod Stewart"
"Nutbush City Limits" (The 90's Version)
"Way of the World"

"Nutbush City Limits" is a semi-autobiographical rock and roll song written and performed by Tina Turner, in which she describes her hometown of Nutbush, Tennessee. As an unincorporated town, Nutbush does not actually have "city limits"; but it does have a "Nutbush - Unincorporated" sign on the highway.[1]


Original 1973 recording

The original recording was produced by Ike Turner in 1973 and released by the couple under their professional name Ike & Tina Turner. The song was taken from an album of the same title, and proved to be the duo's final significant chart hit, reaching #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the UK Singles Chart. Following the couple's split, the song became a staple of Tina's live show, where she re-worked the funky studio version into a hard-driving rock and roll showstopper.

Marc Bolan is rumoured to have played guitar on this track. Although Gloria Jones stated definitely that he did on the film for the 2007 BBC4 Documentary Marc Bolan: The Final Word, it remains in doubt. However it is widely acknowledged that Bolan contributed to the later single "Sexy Ida". Gloria provided backing vocals for Ike and Tina Turner in the 1960s so the story does stand up, especially as the guitar sound is very much like Bolan's. Bolan toured the U.S. extensively in the mid-70s and lived in L.A. for over a year from 1974.

1988 live version

A live recording of the track, most likely from Turner's recordbreaking 1986/1987 Break Every Rule Tour, was released as the lead single to promote the double album Tina Live in Europe in 1988. While this version didn't manage to make much of an impact on any charts, the single is notable for being one of the very first by Turner to be released both as a 7" vinyl single, a 3 track 12" and also on the then relatively new format CD single. Both the 12" and the CD single featured a ten minute fifty-seven seconds long live rendition of ZZ Top's song "Legs" from their 1983 album Eliminator, not included on the Tina Live in Europe album. A shorter version of "Legs" recorded on Turner's 1993 What's Love? Tour would later appear on her 1994 CD box set The Collected Recordings - Sixties to Nineties.

The live version of "Nutbush City Limits" on the single was also in fact a different recording than the one appearing on the actual Tina Live in Europe album.

Versions and mixes (1988 version)

  • Tina Live in Europe album version - 3:43
  • Single Mix - 3:30

The 90s Version

Tina Turner re-recorded the song in 1991 in a modern dance style subtitled The 90s Version for both a single release and inclusion on her 1991 compilation album Simply The Best. The single peaked at #23 in the U.K. and was a Top 20 hit in most European countries. The release also included a second mix of the track, entitled "Nutbush City Limits '91". This funkier and more laidback arrangement is the one to which Turner actually recorded her new vocals, which were later remixed with the dance music to become The 90s Version. The 12" single featured an extended six minute version of the dance remix. The promo video shows Turner recording the song in the studio intercut with actual footage from Nutbush, Tennessee of the church house, the gin house, Highway number 19 and the speed limit signs.

Versions and remixes (The 90s Version)

  • "Nutbush City Limits" (The 90s Version) - 3:43
  • "Nutbush City Limits" (The 90s Version) (Extended Remix) - 6:36
  • "Nutbush City Limits '91" - 4:16

1993 Re-recording

In 1993 Turner re-recorded the track again as a re-working of the original studio arrangement for the What's Love Got to Do with It? soundtrack album.

Other artists

  • Bob Seger recorded "Nutbush City Limits" on his 1975 album Beautiful Loser, and it was a mainstay of his live performances, as documented on his Live Bullet album where it opens a show.
  • On May 15, 2007, American Idol contestant Melinda Doolittle sang the song in her second Top 3 performances. She received excellent praise from all three judges.
  • In 2005, the song was covered by Nashville Pussy. The tune can be heard on their Get Some! album.
  • Pearl Aday performed "Nutbush City Limits" as part of her band's opening set for father Meat Loaf's Casa De Carne tour in 2008.

Chart performance

Chart (1973) Peak
Austria Ö3 Singles Chart 1
Germany Media Control Singles Chart 2
Swiss Music Charts 2
UK Singles Chart 4
Italian Singles Chart 5
South Africa Singles Chart 9
Irish Singles Chart 18
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 22
Chart (1991) Peak
UK Airplay Chart 9
Italian Singles Chart 11
Netherlands Top 40 Singles 11
Irish Singles Chart 12
Swiss Music Charts 12
Australia ARIA Singles Chart 16
UK Singles Chart 23
Austria Ö3 Singles Chart 25
Germany Media Control Singles Chart 25

Tina Turner Highway

Tina Turner Highway in Nutbush

Nutbush, in Haywood County, Tennessee is the childhood home of singer Tina Turner.

Nutbush is located along Tennessee State Route 19, which is mentioned in the song as "Highway number nineteen" (mistakenly noted as US-19 in Seger's version), with a speed limit of 25 mph (40 km/h) ("Twenty-five was the speed limit"). Nutbush is an unincorporated town, so it does not have "city limits" in real life; but it does have a "Nutbush - Unincorporated" sign on the highway.[1]

In 2001, a segment of State Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush was named "Tina Turner Highway" to honor the singer.[2]

The Nutbush

The Nutbush is a Line dance performed to the song Nutbush City Limits.

See also


  1. ^ a b - Photographic documentation of contemporary Nutbush
  2. ^


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