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Died On This Date (August 13, 1971) King Curtis / Saxophone Legend

Posted by themusicsover on August 13, 2010

“King Curtis” Ousley
February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971

King Curtis was a revered tenor saxophonist who, as a session man, played on hits by the likes of the Coasters, Aretha Franklin, and Buddy Holly.  His most famous playing can be heard on “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters.   He also released several albums on his own before his career was tragically cut short.  According to reports, Ousley was carrying an air conditioner up to his New York apartment during a sweltering heat wave.  En route, he was met by two men doing drugs who wouldn’t let him pass.  In the resulting scuffle, Juan Montanez fatally stabbed Ousley.  Sam Moore has claimed that he and Aretha Franklin witnessed the attack as they were arriving to visit Ousley.  Franklin and Stevie Wonder each performed at his funeral.

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King Curtis - Live At Fillmore West - King Curtis

3 Responses to “Died On This Date (August 13, 1971) King Curtis / Saxophone Legend”

  1. What an amazing artist. I found this post by accident but I had to comment. Thanks!

  2. Dedalus said

    What happened to the jerk who killed him? Did he go to jail?

  3. Joe Davis said

    He did go to prison. He was apprehended after seeking treatment for wounds sustained in the fight. He was admitted to the Roosevelt Hospital, the same hospital where King Curtis was pronounced dead.

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