King Curtis, saxophonist
birth name: Curtis Ousley

King Curtis

February 7, 1934, Fort Worth, TX ~ August 14, 1971, New York, NY

On the day of Curtis' funeral Atlantic Records closed their offices ~ Wikipedia: King Curtis ~ retrieved August 7, 2013 © Wikipedia

Curtis was especially known for blasting sound out of his instrument in a rough-cutting style that perfectly complemented rousing rock and roll numbers as well as soul music. As was noted in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, “Owing to his syncopated, almost percussive style, Curtis became one of the best-known and most sought-after studio saxophone players of the 1950s and 1960s; his tone was deep and fruity, with a characteristic burr.” Curtis was perfectly willing to submerge his musical presence into songs, rather than drawing attention to himself. According to Jazz: The Essential Companion, “Curtis earned his reputation for the superb appropriateness of brief solos on R&B and pop records.” ~ Musicianguide: King Curtis ~ retrieved August 7, 2013 © Musicianguide

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August 14, 1971 ~ Billboard Hot 100 ~ #3 (6) John Denver, Take Me Home, Country Roads ~ #2 (4) Jean Knight, Mr. Big Stuff ~ #1 (1) Bee Gees, How Can You Mend A Broken Heart


King Curtis ~ Inducted in the 2000 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ~ One of his most memorable solos, and the one that sealed his reputation as a rock and roll sideman, appeared in the Coasters’ 1958 smash, ‘Yakety Yak.’ King Curtis can also be heard on such seminal early sides as ‘A Lover’s Question,’ by Clyde McPhatter, ‘Boys,’ by the Shirelles, and ‘Reminiscing,’ by Buddy Holly (which he cowrote). As part of Atlantic Records’ stable, he played on sessions for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Don Covay, Bobby Darin, and others. In later years, he also produced (or coproduced) albums for Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway, Delaney & Bonnie, Freddie King and Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave). ~ 2000 © Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

As a Session musician, guest or band member

Aretha Franklin ~ Lady Soul (1968) ~ Ranked #85 Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time in 2012 ~ Released in a year of triumph and turbulence for Franklin: Although she made the cover of Time, the magazine reported details of her rocky marriage to Ted White, then her manager. But Franklin channeled that frenzy into performances of funky pride and magisterial hurt. ~ 2012 © Rolling Stone

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