King Curtis

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Saxophonist
QUICK FACTS
Date of Birth February 7, 1934
Place of Birth Fort Worth, Texas
Date of Death Apr 13, 1971 (37)
Horoscope Aquarius

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King Curtis

Curtis Ousley, known professionally as King Curtis, was an American saxophonist who played rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock and roll. 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 hit singles such 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
Died: August 13, 1971, Manhattan, New York
Genres: R&B, jazz
Occupation(s): Musician, bandleader, producer
Instruments: Saxophone
Years active: 1950–1971
Labels: Atco, Atlantic, Prestige, Capitol
Associated acts: The Coasters, Delaney & Bonnie, Aretha Franklin
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.

King Curtis Before Fame

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.

Achievement of King Curtis

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.

King Curtis Family Life

He was raised in Fort Worth by an adoptive family. His sister was also adopted.

Associations of King Curtis

He performed the saxophone solo on John Lennon's track "It's So Hard" off the 1971 album Imagine.

Information related to King Curtis

  • The Coasters members
  • Delaney & Bonnie & Friends members
  • Groove Records artists
  • Soul-jazz musicians
  • Soul-jazz saxophonists
  • American rock saxophonists
  • Prestige Records artists
  • Atco Records artists
  • Murdered African-American people
  • American soul musicians
  • American bandleaders
  • Singers from Texas
  • American jazz saxophonists
  • 20th-century saxophonists
Latest information about King Curtis updated on April 16, 2021.

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