American saxophonist King Curtis was a versatile musician who played rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock and roll. He achieved success as both a solo artist and a session musician, known for his 1967 hit "Memphis Soul Stew." Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000, Curtis collaborated with legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Jimi Hendrix, and John Lennon. His influential style can be heard on classic songs like "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters and "Twistin' the Night Away" by Sam Cooke. Tragically murdered in 1971, King Curtis remains an iconic figure in R&B and Rock & Roll music.
King Curtis began his musical journey at a young age in Fort Worth, Texas. Turning down a scholarship to join Lionel Hampton's touring band, he moved to New York City in 1952 to become one of the most sought-after session players. His distinctive playing style graced numerous records from the early 1950s until his untimely death. In addition to his own successful releases like "Soul Twist," Curtis worked with diverse artists ranging from The Coasters and Buddy Holly to Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon.
Notably, King Curtis led Aretha Franklin's backing band called King Curtis & The Kingpins while also achieving chart success with singles like "Memphis Soul Stew" and "