As Tina Turner was enjoying her resurgence to fame, Billy Weeks was trying to learn how to capture the iconic moments performances like hers often bring.

It was October 30, 1987. Weeks was a staff photographer at The Chattanooga Times and his assignment was to photograph Tina Turner's second performance at McKenzie Arena.

"It's always a great moment, I think, when we get performers at the top of their game," said Weeks. "And Tina Turner was at the top of her game."

She came out hot. The crowd was loving it. She sang all of the hits - Proud Mary, Nutbush City Limits.

"Tina Turner related with the crowd incredibly well," he said. "So there was there was an immediate connection, I think, with the crowd with her."

Weeks remembered that legendary hair. The lighting that hit it was simply the best.

"Because it was backlit," he said. "That light would filter through her hair and it was just an amazing photographic moment."

Weeks was just getting his bearings on an assignment like that. He was used to capturing crashes, and protests. A photo of an emotional military homecoming flanked his desk at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he is a lecturer in photojournalism.

"When you photograph a concert, there are a lot of things you have to think about," said Weeks. "You have to think about lens selection. You have to think about the quality of life because the stage lights are always changing."

The performance was the second time she would visit the Scenic City. Tina first came to Chattanooga in 1985, where she also performed at McKenzie Arena.


Liam joined the Local 3 News team as a reporter in July of 2021. Before coming to the Tennessee Valley, Liam spent five years living around North Carolina. Most recently, he worked in Jacksonville, North Carolina as a reporter for NBC Affiliate WITN News.

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