From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"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.
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
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
The live version of "Nutbush City Limits" on the single was also
in fact a different recording than the one appearing on the actual
Live in Europe album.
Versions and mixes (1988 version)
- Tina Live in Europe album version - 3:43
- Single Mix - 3:30
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) -
- "Nutbush City Limits '91" - 4:16
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?
- 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
- 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.
Nutbush, in Haywood County, Tennessee is the childhood
home of singer Tina
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
In 2001, a segment of State Route 19 between Brownsville and Nutbush
was named "Tina
Turner Highway" to honor the singer.
The Nutbush is a Line dance performed to the song Nutbush
- ^ a
http://nutbush.machnitzki.com - Photographic
documentation of contemporary Nutbush
- ^ http://www.allaboutbrownsville.net/attractions/index.html