DOB Unknown – October 23, 2011
Gene Kurtz was a beloved Texas bassist and singer-songwriter who can be heard playing and/or singing on classic recordings by the likes of Edgar Winter, B.J. Thomas, Bo Diddley, and Roy Head, with whom he co-wrote the #2 pop and R&B hit, “Treat Her Right.” It took the Beatles’ “Yesterday” incidentally, to keep it from hitting the top of the charts. Born in San Antonio, Texas, Kurtz eventually settled in Austin where he played with Augie Meyers of Sir Douglas Quintet and Texas Tornados fame before hooking up with Head. The two soon wrote and recorded (with Head singing lead), “Treat Her Right” which went on to become one of the most famous Texas rock/R&B songs ever. Its bass line by Kurtz is one of pop music’s best. The song has since been covered by such luminaries as Otis Redding, George Thorogood, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, and Robert Plant, to name a few. It has also become a staple in film and television – it was featured prominently in The Commitments, as well as numerous other films and television shows. After his tenure with Head, Kurtz went on to play on Winter’s 1970 debut, Entrance. During the 2000s, Kurtz played in Dale Watson’s band for whom he wrote “Way Down Texas Way,” which the band can be seen performing on an episode of the television hit, Friday Night Lights. According to the Houston Press, Gene Kurtz was 68 when he passed away on October 23, 2011. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.