King Curtis

Copyright 2020, MJ Ostrander

One day a few years back, I was just bopping along minding my own business and whoop-whoop!  I accidently clicked on Home Cookin’ by King Curtis.  I was slayed by the sax guitar combo.  Two of the sexiest instruments to hit the Earth played in unison on a riff that will knock you down, lift you up and knock you down again!

King Curtis was born Curtis Montgomery in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1934.  He began playing the sax at the age of twelve.  He played it all – jazz, blues, r&b and what I’ve heard called Sax Rock.

He played in Aretha Franklin’s backup band The Kingpins and did session work or performed with a sky full of stars such as Buddy Holly, The Coasters, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Duane Allman and many others.  He opened for The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965.  He recorded the intro song for the 1970’s TV show Soul Train with The Rimshots. 

Photo Credit: soulwalking.uk.co

Two men lost too soon in a violent world.

Curtis was fatally stabbed in 1971 while carrying an air conditioner into his Manhattan apartment.  On the day of his funeral Atlantic Records closed their offices in tribute to his life and talent.  He was posthumously inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Long live the King!

(Bet you can’t guess who showed up in the picture on the video!)

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