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This Week in Texas Music History: King Curtis

by Stephen Becker 10 Feb 2012 1:30 PM

This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll pay tribute to Texas music royalty.


Art&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman pays tribute to Texas music royalty.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Sunday at precisely 6:04 p.m. on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you. And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KXT’s The Paul Slavens Show, heard Sunday night’s at 8.

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King Curtis was born Curtis Ousley on Feb. 7, 1934 in Fort Worth. His parents gave him a saxophone at the age of 12, and he soon began emulating his idols, Lester Young and Louis Jordan. In 1952, Curtis moved to New York City and became one of the most sought after saxophonists around. He performed and recorded with Bobby Darin, Sam Cooke, Nat King Cole, Connie Francis, Buddy Holly and the Coasters. King Curtis went on to make several hit records of his own, and he worked with such diverse artists as Aretha Franklin, Andy Williams and John Lennon.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll learn about a world-renowned musician who chose to make Texas his home.

  • Roy Simonds

    Hello from England! If anyone is really interested in King Curtis’ career, I would be happy to send my 150page (approx) sessionography. Drop me a request to [email protected] and I’ll be happy to send it on! (its a Word document by the way)
    Best regards
    Roy Simonds