The World Suddenly Lost The King Of Sax Forty-Six Years Ago Today

August 14, 2017

37-year-old session musician and saxophone extraodinaire

'King Curtis' was stabbed to death

while arguing with a pair of drug dealers he discovered

on the steps outside his Manhattan apartment

August 13th of 1971


Curtis Ousley aka King Curtis

bandleader, band member, session musician,

musical director and record producer

Curtis was an American saxophone virtuoso 

known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll,

soul, blues, funk and soul jazz born February 7, 1934



Curtis took inspiration from saxophonists Lester Young, 

Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, Earl Bostic, and Gene Ammons


Curtis was adept at 

soprano, alto, and tenor saxophone


Best known for his distinctive riffs and solos

Such as on "Yakety Yak" 

which later became the inspiration 

for Boots Randolph's "Yakety Sax"

and his own "Memphis Soul Stew"


King Curtis opened for The Beatles

during their 1965 premier performance at Shea Stadium


King Curtis was a session musician

recording Prestige, Enjoy, Capitol, and Atco labels

King Curtis joined many bands and musicians

in the recording studio and on stage...

Lionel Hampton

Aretha Franklin

The Coasters

John Lennon

Duane Allman

Jimi Hendrix

The King Pins

Bernard Purdie

Jerry Jemmott

Richard Tee

Cornell Dupree

Champion Jack Dupree

Nat Adderley

Wynton Kelly

Buddy Holly

Waylon Jennings

Andy Williams

and many more


King Curtis

Played Bill Graham's Fillmore West

King Curtis

was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

on March 6, 2000





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