Curtis Ousley, who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophonist known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer. Adept at tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, he played riffs and solos on such hit singles as "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, and "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters and his own "Memphis Soul Stew".
|Birth name:||Curtis Montgomery|
|Also known as:||Curtis Ousley|
|Born:||February 7, 1934, Fort Worth, Texas, United States|
|Died:||August 13, 1971, New York, New York, U.S.|
|Genres:||Soul, R&B, Rock, funk, jazz, country|
|Occupation(s):||Musician, bandleader, producer|
|Instruments:||Soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, trumpet|
|Labels:||King, Prestige, True Sound, Capitol, Atlantic, Groove, Enjoy, Atco|
|Associated acts:||Aretha Franklin, The Coasters, John Lennon, The King Pins, Bernard Purdie, The Shirelles, The Noble Band, Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott, Buddy Holly, Duane Allman Waylon Jennings)|
|Spotify:||King Curtis's Spotify|
About King Curtis
Saxophone virtuoso who recorded in numerous styles, from jazz to soul. He was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee in 2000.
He was a talented student with interests in R&B and jazz, leading him to turn down scholarship offers and instead join the Lionel Hampton Band.
His distinctive solo on "Yakety Yak" inspired Boots Randolph's own take on it, "Yakety Sax," which became the signature piece of the Benny Hill Show.
He was raised in Fort Worth by an adoptive family. His sister was also adopted.
He performed the saxophone solo on John Lennon's track "It's So Hard" off the 1971 album Imagine.