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East Texas music producer, engineer recalls time in studio with Tina Turner

"Recording Tina was just fantastic, talent just lit up the room when she was here."

TYLER, Texas — The empress of soul and queen of rock and roll, Tina Turner, had quite the career that spanned for decades with an astonishing and distinctive voice that produced record-breaking hits like 'Proud Mary' and 'What's Love Got To Do with It.'

Tyler music producer and engineer Robin Hood Brians, owner of Robin Hood Studios, remembers well. 

"I built a reputation of being able to do hit records, so Ike [Turner] just picked up the phone and called me," Brians said. "It was a late-night session but recording Tina was just fantastic." 

Ike and Tina Turner, and the Ikettes stopped by Brians' studio after Tina's first major hit, 'Proud Mary,' was released in 1970. Brians recalls Tina being one of the strongest vocalists he ever worked with. 

"When she was ready to do a take, she threw the switch and at that point, I think we got everything in one or maybe two takes," said Brians. Her talent just lit up the room when she was here."

Brians couldn't recall some of Tina Turner's hits they recorded together in the 70s, but he says it was a session he holds dear to his heart. 

"When the band was packing up and getting ready to leave, she came over and put her arms around me and she gave me a long hug," said Brians. "She whispered in my ear and said, 'thank you for putting up with Ike. I appreciate all you did for us'. "

Brians has also worked with several other major acts since the opening of his studio in 1963 -- such as The Five Americans and ZZ Top. 

"I didn't know you shouldn't build a recording studio in Tyler, Texas," said Brians. "It should be in Nashville, New York, LA or Dallas, but I've been blessed." 

With the death of Tina Turner being so sudden, Brians says her impact forever reminds him of the honor he had to work with her firsthand in his studio. 

"Sometimes you're just in the presence of someone who was created to be a star," said Brians. "She just followed that path God made for her and made it happen." 

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