If I Can’t Be First was the first Ike & Tina release, after Ike Turner formed his own record label „Sonja“ in 1963. Both songs are non album tracks, but the title track was included on the sampler The Soul of Ike & Tina Turner from 1966 and a live version is available on the album Festival of Live Performances. The b-side track „I’m Going Back Home“ is only available on this single. If I Can’t Be First was released in September 1963 from Sonja Records in America on 7“ vinyl.
Billboard Magazine - November 09, 1963: R&B vocalist lke Turner has formed his own label, Sonja Records, and has already cut singles with his wife Tina, and the lkettes. The husband-wife team had been with Sue Records since 1959. Already set as distributors are Superior, New York; Schwartz Brothers, Washington; California Records, Los Angeles; Concord, Cleveland, and All State in Chicago. Turner said that in addition to the hard rock and roll tunes he has been associated with, he plans working with other artists and tunes in a more pop vein.
Vinyl Single (USA) - Side A
Vinyl Single (USA) - Side B
A. If I Can’t Be First 2:14
Written by Ike Turner / Produced by Ike Turner
B. I’m going Back Home 1:43