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Before creating a national restaurant franchise, Robbie Montgomery belted out Motown hits behind Ike & Tina Turner.

This Black Music Month we’re spotlighting the women of The Lou who have been and continue to contribute to the rich musical culture.

The Ikettes were a trio (sometimes quartet) of female backing vocalists for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue, intially comprised of Venetta Fields, Jessie Smith and Robbie Montgomery. Legend has it, Ike jacked the group from Art Lassiter when he didn’t show up for a recording session.

The trio’s first single, “A Fool In Love,” featuring Tina Turner herself which opened the door for the group to tour. Unfortunately, Robbie Montgomery wasn’t able to join the initial revue because she was pregnant. However, after having her baby, Robbie teamed up with vocalists Jessie Smith and Venetta Fields, to form the first official incarnation of The Ikettes. The group recorded “I’m Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)” that next year.

After one too many changes to the lineup, Robbie Montgomery decided it was time for her to move on and in 1965 she left the group once and for all. Still, she holds fond memories of the experience and even applies some of Ike’s management style to running her business today.

You can watch episodes of Reality TV hit “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” on the OWN network. A new season is in the works, and 95.5’s very own Staci Static filmed a cameo yesterday!

Watch as Robbie Montgomery shares fondest memory and lasting lessons in music, especially as a St. Louis woman, in the interview above.

Stay tuned for more from Black Music Month here:

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