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King Curtis
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    (February 7, 1934-August 13, 1971)
    Born in Fort Worth, Texas
    Birth name was Curtis Ousley
    R&B/soul saxophonist
    Session musician at Atlantic, Enjoy, Prestige and Capitol Records
    Notable sessions include the Coasters' 'Yakety Yak,' Clyde McPhatter's 'A Lover's Question,' Buddy Holly's 'Reminiscing,' the Shirelles' 'Boys' and Aretha Franklin's 'Respect'
    Recorded the singles 'Soul Twist,' 'Soul Serenade' and 'Memphis Soul Stew'
    Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a sideman (2000)
    He turned down a college scholarship to join Lionel Hampton's band.
    Although he preferred playing jazz and blues, he decided he could make more money in R&B and rock.
    Jesse Jackson presided over his funeral.
    With his band the Kingpins, he opened for the Beatles at their Shea Stadium concert (1965).
    His instrumental 'Hot Potatoes' was the original theme song for Soul Train.
    While lugging an air conditioner into his apartment, he noticed two junkies using drugs on the steps to the building and asked them to leave. An argument broke out and one of the two men stabbed him in the chest.
    Despite the ultimately fatal wound, he wrestled the knife away and stabbed his assailant four times before collapsing.

Credit: C. Fishel

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