|By JSmith (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 03:34 am:|
What personal recollections do list members have on the gentle genius Curtis Mayfield ???
I have in the recent past spoken about him with the likes of Johnny Pate and Don Gardner (his 70's road manager), but am now even more intrigued than ever to discover extra data about the man and tales of him 'on the road' or 'in the studio'.
|By Isaiah (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 05:52 am:|
"Gentle Genius" - hmmmm - I like that JSmith, because it is such an appropriate moniker for Curtis Mayfield... I think I'll add "Giant" to the litany of qualities attributable to this man, because he was probably a greater writer, composer, producer, and businessmen than a pure singer... The work he did with Aretha, the Staple Singers(Staples), the Five Stairsteps, and Jerry Butler, are a career in itself, but, of course the prodigious body of work he compiled with the Impressions, and as an individual artist... Breathtaking! I don't have personal recollections of Curtis Mayfield other than his appearance at the Grammys in 1973 for the SuperFly album - dressed in a beautiful brown suede outfit, plumes of smoke wafting from the stage, and fire blazing from his left-handed guitar riffs on Pusherman... The man was Brother From Another Planet on that night, and for most of his musical life... My other recollection is, perhaps, the saddest, because it was here, in my city, and not far from where I presently reside, that a Giant speaker was blown over, and fell on Mr. Mayfield during a torrential storm, leaving him paralyzed for the rest of his life... I think that happened in 1988 or 1989... Despite this, and particularly with all of the talk of "greatest Soul Singer" at this discussion board, I don't know if there is another individual who gives me greater, more inspirational listening pleasure than this man whom you, JSmith, aptly called the "gentle genius..." Thanks for remembering one of my greatest and revered artists, man...
peace and blessings, JSmith!
|By MEL&THEN SOME (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 09:33 am:|
I Have personal memories of Superfly when the album first came out
it really hit home at the time with a lot of close friends of mine.
Still sounds great to me when I hear the album.
plus a lot of Curtis's stuff is all over a lot of my personal 45s
A pure genius(andthensome)
|By Eli (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:15 am:|
I have know Curtis Mayfield personally over the years and I found him to be a warm, and sincere human being.
I have had the pleasure of producing several acts for Curtom and I have played the guitar on sessions at his studio on many occasions.
He and his staff really were a class.
|By STUBASS (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:58 am:|
CURTIS HAD THE RARE ABILITY OF CREATING POIGNIENT POETRY...AND BLENDING IT WITH SOLID AND SENSIBLE MELODIES TO CREATE A SOUND UNIQUE UNTO HIMSELF!!!...MANY OF HIS POEMS WOULD BE NEAR IMPOSSIBLE FOR MOST OTHER SONGWRITER'S TO FIND A WAY TO INCORPORATE INTO THE TYPE OF SIMPLISTIC AND READILY RECOGNIZABLE MATERIAL THAT CURTIS PRODUCED!!!...FATE MOST CERTAINLY DEALT HIM A CRUEL BLOW...AS WELL AS THE MUSICAL COMMUNITY THAT LOST OUT ON THE WORK THAT HE WAS CERTAIN TO CREATE IN THE FUTURE!!!...STUBASS
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 11:52 am:|
Two of my mentors were close colleagues of the late Curtis Mayfield - Carl Davis and Eddie Thomas.
Eddie managed the Impressions for almost ten years and co-founded Curtom Records with Curtis in 1967. He said that Curtis was great at using subject matterst that most writers weren't using or were afraid to touch. For example, according to Eddie "Gypsy Woman" was rejected by a few labels because the a&r execs didn't think a Black group singing about a gypsy woman was gonna fly in 1961 America. Fortunately, Clarence Avant (who was an exec at ABC-Paramount Records) thought otherwise, signed the Impressions to the label and released "Gypsy Woman", which became a Top 30 hit.
As for Carl Davis, when he became the A&R chief at CBS' Okeh Records, he immediately hired Curtis to co-produce and write for the label. Carl once told me that "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" was originally written as a serious, philosophical ballad when he told Curtis to change the lyrics and the tempo - a wise move indeed. Also, according to Carl, Curtis was known for singing the vocal parts through a microphone hooked into the singer's headsets so that folks such as Major Lance could nail the take with no problem.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By David Meikle (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 05:40 pm:|
Here's Curtis in Glasgow on 21st June 1983.
He had just performed in the basement of a club called Henry Afrika's.
The venue was small and we were seated on the floor in front of a smallish stage.
The atmosphere and show were electric. I have a copy of the playlist somewhere and must try to find it.
Amongst the lesser know tracks played was a personal fav; "Billy Jack" from the "There's no place like America today" album.
The show went on late and I missed work the next day! This pic was taken in the dressing room after the show.
On the extreme left is his guitarist Gary? (can someone help) he played on that album and I'm sorry the chap taking the pic didn't know he was important! Instead we got the roadie with the CM cap. Curtis's son was in the band if I remember correctly.
From the moment Curtis met us until the moment we left, talking Chicago Soul :-), he never took that smile off his face.
That's how I'll remember him. A gentleman.
|By KevGo (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 05:54 pm:|
Great photo! While I had the honor of meeting the folks who worked with Curtis, you met the man himself.
Thanks for sharing this great moment!
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By David Meikle (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 06:02 pm:|
Here's another one. I don't think I have ever held onto someone quite as much as Curtis!
|By SisDetroit (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 06:07 pm:|
That's great DMeikle. 20 years ago is a long time. Photos are priceless.
|By Ralph (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:13 pm:|
Great pics David.
|By SisDetroit (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:27 pm:|
Great songs by Curtis & the Impressions. Do you remember these?
*****Grow Closer Together
Never Let Me Go
*****Minstrel and Queen (Queen Majesty)
I'm So Proud
*****I'm the One Who Loves You
Sad, Sad Girl and Boy
It's All Right
*****Keep on Pushing
*****You Must Believe Me
I've Been Trying
People Get Ready
Woman's Got Soul
*****We're a Winner
I Loved and I Lost
Fool for You
This Is My Country
Choice of Colors
*****Check Out Your Mind
Move on Up
|By STUBASS (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 07:34 pm:|
HEY SIS!!!...YOU'VE NAMED SOME GREAT ONES...INCLUDING SEVERAL OFF OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE IMPRESSIONS LP'S..."YOUNG MODS FORGOTTEN STORY"!!!...STUBASS
|By medusa9e2003 (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 08:58 pm:|
WOW~~ U really took me back with some of those hits I almost 4got 2 remember...Thanx SisDetroit.
|By SisDetroit (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:14 pm:|
Yes, Stubass and Medusa, can't you just hear those songs playing loudly from the windows and the cars. Groovy! ((Curtis Mayfield)) The man was groovy.
|By Larry (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 14, 2003 - 10:27 pm:|
Those are great shots. You must have been on a cloud that night. Just a bunch of billion dollar smiles. Great!
Helluva post. Thanks for sharing.
|By SB (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 03:56 pm:|
Great pics David. Thanks.
I have Curtis's "Superfly", album - but his "Sweet Exorcist", is my fave by him. I love "Gimme' Your Love", off of SF - and the others - but "Sweet Exorcist", got me thru some down times.
"Ain't Got Time" - Curtis tells the woman that he has no time for the BS - nor for her sister and mother getting into their business. LOL!
"To Be Invisible"
"Power To The People"
"Make Me Believe In You"
If some of you are missing this album/cd in your stash - please put this one on your list. It is too much - and one of my all time fave albums ever made by man or woman. And I have practically worn it out. I see now that I am going to have order all of his music on cd.
I love(d) that man. He was my hero sort of speak.
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 04:18 pm:|
Geez, SisDetroit! What did you do? Cut & paste the list from the Curtis Mayfield boxed set! Hey, it's all good.
SB - "Sweet Exorcist" and "Back To The World" were my favorite Curtis solo LPs and his soundtrack for "Short Eyes" was as gripping as "Superfly".
I dug the singles "Kung Fu," "Future Shock", "Doo Doo Wap Is Strong In Here" and the flipside of the Superfly single, "Love To Keep You In My Mind" (available on his "Curtis Roots" album).
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By JSmith (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 07:44 pm:|
What can you remember about working at the Curtom studio. Was Curtis himself involved with any of the sessions and if so, how did he interact with the musicians in the studio.
Any direct input you could get from Eddie or Carl about the way Curtis worked in the studio (in the 60's) would be GREATLY APPRECIATED. On other artist cuts (Oken stuff) would Curtis act as producer AND play guitar. How did he interact with the other creative guys (say the arranger; Riley Hampton or Johnny Pate).
The Impressions always used Universal studios for their recordings whereas Curtis seemed to use RCA studios exclusively for his own acts (Windy C, Mayfield & early Curtom label stuff). This seems strange to me but there must have been a reason.
MANY THANKS to everyone who has posted a message above.
|By musicchef (220.127.116.11) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:29 pm:|
I'm still "Astounded" that Curtis left enough of an impression on the leader of Bran Van 3000 to use his vocal on the song "Astounded"... Most Americans didn't get a chance to hear this great track due to Grand Royal going out of business here in the states and the cd only being available as a $30 import... It's cool when old and new combine to make a great song
|By SisDetroit (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 08:49 pm:|
KevGo - My son has the "Anthology 1961-1977" along with other recordings that were "my" songs during the time he was a little tot. (Thank goodness I instilled a musical taste in him if nothing else.) When I heard those songs, it took me way back in time, and I just literally took the Anthology cd's from my son, and thanked him very much.
|By Eli (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, July 15, 2003 - 09:00 pm:|
I will answer some of those questions about working with Curtis but I will back track a little bit.
The RCA connection:
Curtis used an engineer that he liked named Roger Anfinsen over at RCA.
When RCA closed down Curtis bought out a lot of the equipment and hired Roger to construct his own studio in a building which he found up on Lincoln on the near North side.
he then hired Roger as engineer and later Fred Breitberg who recorded a lot of Blues at Alligator records.
I originally met Curtis on the road with the Vibrations and later in the mid-seventies I was re introduced to him and Marv Stuart when I was hired as a session musician and later a producer for several of their acts including Gavin Christopher and Ava Cherry.
We also worked with Curtis in Philly via Norman Harris.
|By JSmith (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:56 am:|
From the above,I guess you were backing the Vibrations and appeared on the same bill as the Impressions.
Can you remember anything about the Impressions performance (who were the musicians in their backing band, Phil Upchurch ??, was Henry Gibson with em back then ?, etc.)
I bet backing the Vibrations was a lot of fun. Were those guys as 'mad' on the road as the Contours and other such jokers ?
BTW, Gavin Christopher is another ol fave of mine. What stuff did he have released on / via Curtom ??
|By KevGo (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 10:44 am:|
Both Edddie & Carl are not as "internet-savvy" as we are but I have told them about the site and suggested that they at least get near a computer and log on.
Although Soulful Detroit is mainly about the music of the Motor City, maybe I could conduct an interview with both men and contribute it to David Meikle if he wants to use it. I will be in Chicago within the next couple of weeks to see Carl & Eddie (among my other "mentors") so you bet I will have tape recorder in hand.
Hey, I may have been born in 1966 but the Impressions' tunes were as much mine as they are yours (I still have my brother's 45s from the group's ABC/Paramount years!).
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By David Meikle (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:01 am:|
For webisodes, we must stick to the MotorCity 100%.
Thanks for the offer anyway.
|By KevGo (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 11:09 am:|
No problem, David.
BTW - was it you who needed a scan of the Universal Recording Studio in Chicago for an upcoming webisode? Let me know so I can forward it to you.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Tony Russi (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:34 pm:|
I met Curtis Mayfield with Sam & Fred(Impressions)in about 67/68....what a wonderful, sincere, nice man.We talked about his great work with Major Lance, Jan Bradley and the 5 Stairsteps.I remeber he had on a BAAD long leather jacket & leather cowboy hat...it was cold & no heat in that Orlando collisium.
|By David Meikle (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:38 pm:|
Thanks, I need it for the Fred Bridges story.
|By Eli (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 17, 2003 - 01:58 pm:|
I realy dont remember who the Impressions live band were at that time.
several of their previous band members were killed in a traffic accident down south when one of them dozed off at the wheel.
Their names were Joe Thomas on guitar and Wilbur(Junie) Griffin (my next door neighbor and best friend) on drums.
Yes, The Vibrations were a load of fun to be with on the road.
I travelled to Europe for the first time with them following a stint at the Apollo (Thanksgiving show of 1967)
Carl Fisher, the main lead singer and I also wrote a lot of songs together.
I miss those guys.They were one of the most underrated acts on the planet and a lot of other acts including the Tempts "borrowed" some of their moves including the Temptation walk which
was the Vibrations Sloop Dance!!
Paul Williams mannerisms were very much looke Don Bradleys as well.
Rickey Owens, on the other hand was the first Eddie K replacement but he only lasted two weeks and back with the Vibrations.
Sadly, he passed away in Philly around five years ago.
|By JSmith (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 01:28 am:|
PLEASE try and conduct interviews with Eddie Thomas & Carl Davis, the info you illuminate will be invaluable (IMO).
Only trouble is both guys did so much in the biz over the years that it will be difficult to decide which aspects to focus in on.
For me, their dealings with the Impressions is a major under documented area but there is also all Carl's work at Okeh and the whole Brunswick / Dakar period / Chi-sound era, etc.
ALSO with Eddie, all the other groups whose name began with an 'i' that he worked with.
|By dvdmike (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 12:10 pm:|
I met Carl Davis around 1979 or 80 at one of their famous family picnics on the South Side and again at the offices of Chi-Sound. I went to high school with his son Brian and daughter Carla and his nephew Glen and college with another nephew Doug, who became a very close pal. He's now an attorney and film producer in Los Angeles. I met Eddie Thomas in 1989. Jackie Taylor's Black Ensemble Theatre was producing a play, "Only The Strong Survive", a play based on the life of Jerry Butler starring bluesman Roy Hytower. Eddie came by the theater one night after the show to visit Tom Tom. The actor who played Eddie, Donn Carl Harper was thrilled to meet him as was Jackie.
|By Diego (220.127.116.11) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 12:59 pm:|
SisDetroit, that's a great list. One of my favorite Curtis tune is "The Making of You."
StuBass--so right on Curtis' layered poetry. One of his lines I love is sung by Walter Jackson (though the Impressions might have recorded it too)on "That's What Mama Said"("You better pay heed to her ode!)That ain't typing. that's writing!
Hey KevGro, help me out on this: A favorite B side of an Impressions hit was "Little Girl"(lead by Sam, not Curtis)but cannot rememebr what the hit side was
|By FRANCIS T (18.104.22.168) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 03:39 pm:|
I believe Little Girl is the other side of abc10900 You always hurt me.available on UK Kent CD155.Recorded 7 Feb66 Universal Studio Chicago.You always etc. recorded 19 Jan 67 ,same studio. Information from recently published CURTIS MAYFIELD People never give up by PETER BURNS.Sanctuary Books ISBN#1-86074-457-5
A good book,lots of recording info ,studio details etc.,and a dry but informative Mayfield biog.US price according to cover $18.95
Does anybody have contact address for current remaining Impressions?A collegue of mine wants to do an interview.
REGARDS FRANCIS T
|By Diego (22.214.171.124) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 04:05 pm:|
Francis,thanks for that great info.
|By MEL&THEN SOME (126.96.36.199) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 05:11 pm:|
Didnt Curtis also work with
who recorded on
and on the Wilson record Label(no.100)
or are these a different group?
|By SB (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 09:27 pm:|
I love my hero - Mr. Curtis Mayfield.
|By dvdmike (184.108.40.206) on Saturday, July 19, 2003 - 11:09 pm:|
Curtis also co-produced several Okeh hits with Carl Davis including Walter Jackson's "It's All Over".
|By JSmith (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 01:55 am:|
Whilst on this thread..........
a lot of 60's groups were influenced by the sound that Curtis & the Impressions were making back then (after all, lots of their 45's were commercial successes).
I have seen numerous group names listed as being amongst this throng of influenced outfits. What is forum member's opinions (knowledge?) with regards to the following :-
Marvellos, Presidents, Larks, Poets, Topics, Notations, Climates, Brilliants, Expressions, Pacesetters.
Even a number of Detroit based groups have been included on such lists in the past; the Temprees, Originals, Enchantment, Detroit Emeralds.
ALSO Phily outfits such as the Delfonics and other east coast groups such as the Manhattans.
|By MEL&THEN SOME9 (18.104.22.168) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 04:59 am:|
Anyone Know The Symphonics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|By RD (22.214.171.124) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 06:34 am:|
Unless you're talking about another Temprees group, the Temprees ("Love Between a Boy and Girl"...)were Memphis based.
|By KevGo (126.96.36.199) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 12:56 pm:|
I was on the phone with Eddie Thomas five minutes ago - interviewing him would be no problem 'cause he was there with Curtis when the Impressions were called the Roosters, and the anecdotes he could share.....hooooboy!
Also, are you aware of Ace/Kent's CD compilation called IMPRESSED. This collection features some of the groups you mentioned as well as the Players' hit "He'll Be Back" (which featured the Dells on background vocals).
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By john dixon (188.8.131.52) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 01:47 pm:|
I love Curtis Mayfield and you can sure feel the love for this gentle genius on this thread. My favorite Curtis songs are "I've Been Trying" and "The Love That I Lost".
I had a club DJing experience(a rather sad one so be forewarned) that involved one of Curtis' songs that I'll never forget....
Mid-80's in Myrtle Beach, SC and I was a DJ at a huge club called Studebakers. The club specialized in Carolina beach music and oldies. It was a week night and there were about 800 or 900 people there having fun. I had just played "Shout" which, back then, was an automatic dance-floor filler with people, in emulation of "Animal House", doing the gator on the floor and the whole bit. As the song ended and people were coming off the floor, a man suddenly keeled over clutching his chest. 911 was immediately called and I was on the mic telling everyone to back off and let the man breathe if he was able to. When EMS got there, I ran over myself and took a look; the man wasn't breathing and they had hooked him up to something and there was just a flat-line, no sign of a pulse.
After EMS took him out on a stretcher, it was deathly quiet among all these people gathered in the club. The owner ran up to the DJ booth with a frantic look on his face and yelled at me, "For God's sake, play something!" I didn't feel much like playing anything after what had taken place. So I put on "People Get Ready". No one slow-danced and as I looked around I saw people crying openly at their tables. When the song ended, it was as if somebody said "class dismissed" because EVERYONE got up and quietly left the club. The owner again ran up to me looking frantic and said, "Look what you've done!". All I could do was shrug and he calmed down after a minute and said, "Let's close for the night", which I thought was the appropriate thing to do. We later heard that the man, a vacationer from Ohio, had died enroute to the hospital. That incident is what I am reminded of whenever I hear "People Get Ready" and I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had just refrained from spinning "Shout" at that particular moment.
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 01:53 pm:|
Geez...That's a tough one to follow.
I guess I would've done the same thing or just closed down for the night.
All I can say is the day I meet my maker I would want someone to play something soulful for me as well.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By john dixon (220.127.116.11) on Monday, July 21, 2003 - 02:53 pm:|
On a much more upbeat note, about a month ago I picked up a great double CD caled "The Curtom Story: Curtis Mayfield's School Of 20th Century Soul" I knew that Curtis wrote and produced for other artists but didn't realize the full extent of his mentoring. I was delighted that Jamo Thomas'"I Spy(For The FBI)" was included (not written but produced by Curtis). I've heard so many people on this forum rave about The Five Stairsteps and all I knew by them was "Ooh Child". This double cd contains six cuts by them that are fantastic; my favorite at the moment is "Loves Happening". It's got all these cheesy reverb and panning sound effects but there's a beautiful song underneath the endearingly naive attempts at psychedelia. There's also a few cuts by Curtis himself on here that I didn't have, like "Billy Jack" and "Give Me Your Love". I certainly would recommend this CD to everyone here that doesn't already have this material. I got it for a great price at Amazon.com.
|By john dixon (18.104.22.168) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 12:48 pm:|
I have since been informed by Kevgo that "The Curtom Story", which I recommended above, is an unauthorized collection of Curtis' songwriting and production efforts as well as a few cuts by the man himself. In all innocence I read the rave review in Mojo, went to Amazon. com and found a cheap import copy and that was that, so I mistakenly thought. However, if I've learned anything from SD it's that not only do we revere the music, but the creative entities behind it as well. In effect, we're not only knowledgeable about the music and own copies of it, we're stewards of the genre itself, and that entails doing whatever we can to insure that the proper creative people are appropriately compensated. So, as far as what an individual can do, the main thing is to NOT support compilations like the above that are not authorized. My hearty endorsement of the aforementioned CD is withdrawn with prejudice!
|By Steve Litos (22.214.171.124) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 07:24 pm:|
I got the "Curtom Story" as a Christmas gift. Only recently did I suscpect that it was not an official release due to the fact that I picked up the recent 5 Stairsteps - The First Family of Soul cd. The sound quality on the re-issue BLOWS AWAY the "Curtom Story".
After thinking about it...I knew they must not be working with the actual masters. That's too bad since the album has a bunch of great songs like "Take Care" by June Conquest, & "Thank You" by Donny Hathaway & June Conquest.
|By publicimageltd. (126.96.36.199) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 10:25 pm:|
I will be teaching fourth grade at a charter school in detroit this year. it is my intention to use Curtis Mayfield as a roll model for my students. An early lesson will centre around "Move On Up" in which my students will be using the message as their insperation to strive for all their goals, not only in school, but it life.
I also plan on using New World Order as an example of how one can over come even the most devistating of experiences and still come out on top.
God Bless you Curtis. May your message JAM on for years to come.
|By dvdmike (188.8.131.52) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 10:42 pm:|
That's role model, not roll model. Gee, I always wanted to correct a teacher.
|By STUBASS (184.108.40.206) on Tuesday, July 22, 2003 - 10:57 pm:|
DEAR PUBLIC IMAGE!!!...CURTIS MAYFIELD IS NO "ROLL" MODEL!!!...CAN'T BE EATIN A "KAISER CURTIS"...BUT CURTIS WOULD MAKE A WONDERFUL "ROLE" MODEL!!!...BY THE WAY...WILL YOU BE TEACHING SPELLING???...JUST HAVING SOME FUN WITH YOU!!!...STUBASS
|By StingBeeLee (220.127.116.11) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 10:28 am:|
I won the "Curtom Story" box set around 3-5 years ago from a contest in the Michigan Chronicle. It is a 2 CD yellow color box set with a booklet and etc. I hope this is not an unauthorized collection?
|By KevGo (18.104.22.168) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 10:46 am:|
Check the credits - does the name Charly pop up? If it does, the collection does contain recordings that were not cleared by the owners (Eddie Thomas, RCA/BMG, etc).
On a positive note, it is a very good collection of work - the folks who put it together aren't the most savory of record biz people.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By john dixon (22.214.171.124) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 12:30 pm:|
I noticed in the ALL MUSIC GUIDE.COM review of "The Curtom Story" that the cover pictured was different than the cover of mine and the set list was a bit different as well. My CD is mostly white. The cover pictured on AMG corresponds to the description of the CD that StingBeeLee won. Does that mean that there are two different unauthorized double CD collections bearing the title, "The Curtom Story"?
The plot to fleece the deserving creative individuals thickens. This looks like a case for Inspector Kevgo!
|By KevGo (126.96.36.199) on Wednesday, July 23, 2003 - 12:53 pm:|
John & Sting:
The Curtom Story was issued by two parties - Charly Records & Union Square Music.
Charly issued theirs first in 1996 - which has the Curtom logo on the cover (resembling the Curtom/Buddah colored label). Union Square Music issued theirs years later.
BOTH parties have recordings on their collections that were not cleared by the owners of the masters. For example, Eddie Thomas owns the rights to Jamo Thomas' "I Spy (For The FBI)" and Cash McCall's "You Mean Everything To Me". Buddah/RCA/BMG owns the Five Stairsteps masters (both Windy C & Curtom recordings as well). Warner Bros. own the Staple Singers' "Let's Do It Again" & Mavis Staples' "A Piece Of The Action" (Curtom's deal w/Warner Brothers at the time was more of a logo deal than a production/licensing/distribution deal).
The reason why the Five Stairsteps' "First Family Of Soul" CD sounds so great is because RCA/BMG went back to the original session tapes for the Windy C-related songs and created stereo mixes that never existed before ("Come Back", "World Of Fantasy", "Danger! She's A Stranger"). Also, RCA/BMG have the two-track masters from Buddah so the remastering was indeed done very well.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By JSmith (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 01:43 am:|
If you would send me an e-mail direct (to..
email@example.com), I will contact you about the interview with Eddie Thomas (the questions I would like to ask, etc).
|By SB (184.108.40.206) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 03:54 pm:|
Ya'll remember the movie "Short Eyes", that Curtis was in? I saw it in 1975, I'm pretty sure. It was about prison life. Anyone see it? When I heard Curtis was going to be in it - I accepted a date w/the quickness, and plus - I was curious. LOL!
|By KevGo (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 05:01 pm:|
The film "Short Eyes" was based on the play written by the late Miguel "Mikey" Pinero, who wrote the script while serving a prison sentence (a prisoner accused of child molestation is called "short eyes" by their fellow cellmates).
When he was released from jail, the play was picked up by NYC theatre impressario Joseph Papp and was presented at the Public Theatre. The play earned an Obie award and the screenplay was sold to Warner Brothers, who at that time was distributing Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label. The result was his soundtrack work & appearance in the film.
I highly recommend to everyone the film "Pinero" starring Benjamin Bratt (formerly of TV's "Law & Order")in the title role and his wife Marisa Soto who portrayed Pinero's girlfriend - it is available on DVD.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By Galactus (18.104.22.168) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 05:30 pm:|
Never did see "Short Eyes" but I've about worn out my CD with the soundtrack!
Thanks to everyone for the great posts. I was introduced to The Impressions by way of my dad's LPs and tapes.......I'm 37 and was a kid when Mayfield was taking off solo. I finally completed my Impressions collection by obtaining the "This Is My Country" LP on CD by way of Amazon's marketplace. I've just about got Curtis' solo stuff covered too.
Man that music just never gets old. I work as a graphic artist/cartoonist and I love to put that stuff on as I work. Great, great material......and incredible writing. Among my faves are "The Love that I Lost" and "I Need You".....
Lately, I've really been digging Curtis' "Something To Believe In" CD.....very underrated album. Some quite touching moments in there, too....
|By KevGo (22.214.171.124) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 05:59 pm:|
I know the feeling, my friend. I'll be 37 in October & I was introduced to Curtis' music by my older brothers.
The "Sweet Exorcist" album is my favorite solo work & I dig the Impressions' "You've Been Cheating" and "I've Been Trying".
BTW - The film "Short Eyes" is not for the faint of heart. Curtis' appearance is the only "light note" in the movie.
Kevin "Doo Doo Wop Is Strong In Here" Goins - KevGo
|By Galactus (126.96.36.199) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 06:10 pm:|
Yeah, I had a feeling the movie was a rough one.
"Sweet Exorcist" is great.....and of course "Roots" ain't bad, either. Too bad they tried to make Curtis go disco so hard in the late 70s with that "Do It All Night" stuff.
He and Jerry Butler are two of my favorites......they really get me through the night sometimes (if you know what i mean).
I have "You've Been Cheating" on a greatest hits comp.......but it's not on any album. I take it this was released as a single only?? In any case, I love that song as well. Good Lord this is some great music we're talking about.
|By SB (188.8.131.52) on Thursday, July 24, 2003 - 06:57 pm:|
Thanks KevGo - for filling in my holes as it pertained to the movie "Short Eyes". After reading what you wrote - I did remember what the plot had been about. And you're right - for Curtis was the film's bright spot indeed. Loved him.
|By KevGo (184.108.40.206) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 11:10 am:|
"You've Been Cheating" was a "single-only" release when it came out in 1965. It wasn't available on LP until ABC Records issued a greatest hits album after the Impressions left the label.
Kevin Goins - KevGo
|By TonyRussi (220.127.116.11) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 11:40 am:|
Hey Kevin, do you know if "Stay Away From Me" by Major Lance (a Curtom single) is available on any CD? That is one tuff track from what I remember.I only heard it on early 70's radio a few times.I have a double CD of Major Lance but only the Okeh recordings.Thanks.
|By Steve Litos (18.104.22.168) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 01:39 pm:|
Tony - I was fortunate to stumble on a 45 of the song by chance in a bargain bin. It's a pretty kickin' track but I believe no real bridge or chord changes. It's a bit like "If There's A Hell Below" in that regard.
It is on the "Curtom Story" from Charley Records.
|By Tony Russi (22.214.171.124) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 03:46 pm:|
Thanks Steve...I don't like that Charley label but I sure want that song.
|By Galactus (126.96.36.199) on Friday, July 25, 2003 - 03:54 pm:|
Most of my Curtis albums are on the British "Sequel" label.....the two-fers. Great sound and great liner notes. The one exception is "Back to the World" which I have on the Charly label.