15 Facts About King Curtis


King Curtis started playing saxophone at the age of twelve in the Fort Worth area.


King Curtis took interest in many musical genres including jazz, rhythm and blues, and popular music.


In 1952 King Curtis decided to move to New York and became a session musician, recording for such labels as Prestige, Enjoy, Capitol, and Atco.


King Curtis recorded with Nat Adderley, Wynton Kelly, Buddy Holly, Waylon Jennings and Andy Williams.


Stylistically, King Curtis took inspiration from saxophonists Lester Young, Louis Jordan, Illinois Jacquet, Earl Bostic, and Gene Ammons.


King Curtis put together a group during his time as a session musician that included Richard Tee, Cornell Dupree, Jerry Jemmott, and Bernard Purdie.


King Curtis enjoyed playing both jazz and rhythm and blues but decided he would make more money as a rhythm and blues musician.


King Curtis worked with The Coasters, and led Aretha Franklin's backing band the Kingpins.


In July 1971, King Curtis recorded saxophone solos on "It's So Hard" and "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" from John Lennon's Imagine.


On June 17,1971, King Curtis played at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in the Casino Kursaal, with Champion Jack Dupree, backed by Cornell Dupree on guitar, Jerry Jemmott on bass and Oliver Jackson on drums.


King Curtis was stabbed on August 13,1971, during an argument with a pair of drug dealers.


King Curtis was discovered on the steps outside his Manhattan apartment at 50 West 86th Street.


King Curtis was attempting to carry an air conditioner into his apartment when a man named Juan Montanez refused to move from the entrance.


King Curtis was released on December 5,1977, from the Wallkill Correctional Facility for good behavior.


King Curtis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 6,2000.