“Tina Turner in St. Louis: Becoming the Queen of Rock and Roll”

How did Tina Turner become the Queen of Rock and Roll? Join the Department of Music Friday, Feb. 23, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Harkness Chapel to find out.

Maureen Mahon, professor and chair of the Department of Music at New York University, will present “Tina Turner in St. Louis: Becoming the Queen of Rock and Roll.”

She will examine archival materials related to Turner’s formative years as a vocalist in the vibrant St. Louis music scene of the 1950s and engaging with recordings of her live performances from the mid-1960s. Through this talk, Mahon aims to demonstrate how Tina Turner’s collaborations with musician and bandleader Ike Turner—undertaken in the particular social and racial context of post-World War II St. Louis—laid the foundation for her to become a global rock and roll star.

Mahon is author of Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll (2020) and Right to Rock: The Black Rock Coalition and the Cultural Politics of Race (2004). Her articles on African American music have appeared in academic journals such as Oxford American and on the websites of National Public Radio and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.