Saturday, June 11, 2011

King Curtis

King Curtis
I don't know why I only remember three sax players from my teens. They were Ace Cannon, Bill Doggett and King Curtis. Different yes, but that's the way we received our helpings of music. It came to us from lots of different sources and we just soaked it in. 

King Curtis and Doggett gave us that soulful sound while Ace played in my home town as a rock and roll Nashville cross. I enjoyed Doggett on the same level as Curtis. I enjoyed Ace just as much, but in a different way. 

Until today, I had no idea he was either a Texan or the majority of his career was spent as a session musician in New York City. 

King Curtis

I honestly thought he was a part of the Memphis Sound machine. That's how I associated his style of sax playing. He could well have fit in with the Mar-Keys or the Memphis Horns. And given the way these fellows worked around to all the studios he might very well have played with all those folks.

King Curtis

Mr. Curtis was a showman, an arranger, a highly sought after session musician, a producer, a band leader, writer, composer and anything else one might ask of a great musical talent. 

King Curtis

King Curtis cut tons of albums, had several hits and was known by most kids in the early 60's. It appears his biggest fan base was fellow professional musicians.

Curtis was only 37 when he was murdered in New York City. That was 1971. He was killed by a knife wielding junkie in front of his own home. Sometimes things just don't make any damned sense. His death was a shock for the music industry.

King Curtis the Sax Man

Curtis won a Grammy the year before his death and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. The guy was a great, I said great, musician. Please take the time to listen to a song or two. They are linked under the video sign below.  You will find an info link as well. There is lots and lots of information to be learned about King Curtis so enjoy it.  

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