February 7, 1934 Curtis Ousley (King Curtis), saxophonist, band leader, and record producer, was born in Fort Worth, Texas.
Curtis started playing the saxophone at the age of 12 and in 1950 he joined the Lionel Hampton Band. In 1952, he moved to New York City and worked as a session player until the mid-1960s.
In 1967, Curtis recorded his most successful singles, “Memphis Soul Stew” and “Ode to Billie Joe.” Other recordings by Curtis include “Sweet Soul” (1968), “Instant Groove” (1969), and “Get Ready” (1970). In 1970, Curtis won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for “Games People Play.” On August 13, 1971, Curtis was killed and he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
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