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Curtis Mayfield

"The Soul Patrol Digest" Sunday, Jan 2 2000 SPECIAL EDITION

This is a special WEB EDITION of the SOUL-PATROL DIGEST in memory of brotha Curtis Mayfield containing 87 postings by Soul Patrol members over the course of the three days following the announcement of his death. The postings are from fans and friends of this GIANT covering the musical and social impact that brotha Curtis made here on this earth. The first posting is from me and it is followed by the rest of the crew…

Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 22:57:53 -0500

From: "Bob Davis" <>

Subject: soul-patrol: "We’re a Winner"………

Most of you first arrived here on the Soul Patrol via our sign up page at:

The image that you see in the background on that page is a picture of the 45 version of the song…

"We’re a Winner"That was done intentionally, my feeling at the time was that if you didn’t "get that song" (you had NO BUSINESS signing up for this list!!!)

Originally I also had a short scratched up clip of the song playing in the "blackround" as well.

The "webmaster" inside of me, told me to remove the sound clip, to allow for a faster download time for the page…Well I just put it back up and I also changed the clip on the main page of the site at:


"We’re a Winner"

Over the past month we have lost…

1. Lester Bowie

2. Charles Earland

3. Grover Washington Jr

4. and now Curtis….

(when are we gonna start giving OUR people their props BEFORE they die?)

The words and music of Curtis Mayfield have had a big influence on my life as they did on MILLIONS of people!

Martin Luther King was the acknowledged leader of the Civil Rights Movement, but for many thousands of younger people at that time (such as myself)

Curtis Mayfield was the voice of the Civil Rights Movement!

The songs that he created during that troubled time soothed us while at the same time raised our consciousness about some of the things that we NEEDED to do, in order to secure basic rights that we had been prevented by law from having.

I will have much more to say about Curtis over the next few days, in the meantime please feel free to add your own thoughts, words and feelings that you may have had over the years about one of OUR giants.

I would like to see the thoughts of as many people as possible, even if you are lurking and have never posted before, if you ever thought about dropping your 2 cents on us, now is the time to let us know what cha thought about Curtis and his music.

– —————————————————–

Bob Davis

– —————————————————–– Click Here For SOUL PATROL

– —————————————————–



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Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 13:58:10 -0600 (CST)

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: Curtis Mayfield

I have some sad news . I just heard that Curtis Mayfield pasted away today at 7:29 a.m. As soon as I recieve more details , I’ll pass it along . / Gary


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 14:04:55 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: Curtis Mayfield

On Sun, 26 Dec 1999 13:58:10 -0600 (CST), in

<>, wrote:

I just heard about it on Herb Kent’s Dusties Show on V-103. This is so sad, and overwhelming, too, in light of all of the other events (artists passing away) during this past year.


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 17:27:09 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: More On The Passing of Musical Genius Curtis Mayfield

Entertainment Headlines

Sunday December 26 5:20 PM ET R&B Star Curtis Mayfield Dies in Georgia at Age 57

ROSWELL, Ga. (Reuters) – Rhythm and blues legend Curtis Mayfield, whose music helped define the Chicago sound in the 1960s and whose style influenced artists from pop to hip hop, died on Sunday, a North Fulton Regional Hospital spokeswoman said. He was 57.

A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Mayfield’s hits included the soundtrack from “Superfly” and the seminal singles “People Get Ready” and “Keep On Pushing.”

“He expired in this hospital at 7:20 a.m. this morning,” said hospital spokeswoman Jan Potts. She could offer no information on the cause of death.

Mayfield suffered a serious accident in August 1990. While performing at an outdoor concert in New York a lighting rig collapsed on him, damaging his spine and leaving him a quadriplegic.

He had toured in the United States, Europe and Japan, up until his accident, but even after leaving the stage his presence continued to be felt in the work of other artists.

In 1994, Whitney Houston, Elton John, The Isley Brothers and Aretha Franklin recorded his composition in a special tribute called, “All Men Are Brothers: A Tribute to Curtis Mayfield.”

Herbie Hancock, Deniece Williams and En Vogue have recorded covers of his works, as have many hip hop and rap artists.

Mayfield is one of the few people to have been inducted more than once into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was first inducted with his gospel-soul group, the Impressions, in 1991. He was inducted again in 1999 for his solo career, which began in 1970 after he left the Impressions.

Mayfield was too ill to attend the 1999 Hall of Fame ceremony, which also inducted Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney.

Mayfield was born in Chicago on June 3, 1942, and began singing by the age of seven. He taught himself to play the guitar and began writing and composing music, under the influence of his mother, who loved poetry.

His talents led him into a career in music, which began in 1957, and lasted nearly 40 years.

As a singer, songwriter, composer and producer, Mayfield was a driving force in the African American music scene through the 1960s and 1970s, in part through the group, The Impressions.

Among his hits during the period were “Gypsy Woman,” and ”He Will Break Your Heart.” Mayfield’s efforts epitomized the Chicago sound that rivaled Detroit’s Motown in the 1960s, producing such classics as “It’s All Right, and “People Get Ready.”

His soundtrack to the film “Superfly” sold more than a million copies and received four Grammy nominations. It also solidified Mayfield’s position in the pantheon of contemporary musical talent.

He lived in Atlanta with his wife and family.


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 17:36:53 EST


Shocked and saddened at the news of curtis Mayfield’s death, curtis,a fellow Atlantan, was a pillar of our musical community, a true giant/god, perhaps one of the greatest American songwriters ever!! RIP>>>GROVER WASHINGTON JR.& I were born on the same street "GLENWOOD AVE, BUFFALO- NY" one of my earliest memories of this life is my toddler friends and I going to the corner store, and hearing a teenaged GROVER playing his horn on the porch "something he loved to do!!", his death is also a great loss!!


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 18:23:47 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: Some of My Thoughts on The Late Curtis Mayfield

Gary, this is really a sad day. I first heard of his passing about 4pm EST. My son (12 years old) and I were at a Toys-R-Us store in Brooklyn, when I heard the news on my mini radio/earpiece. I was literally stunned. My son asked me what happened…and I relayed the news to him……..

Looking back, I gotta tip my hat to my late father…..for it was he who got my Curtis Mayfield train rolling by having a copy of the LP ‘Curtis’. Whenever I played that album, I always locked in to "If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go)". That bassline was sooo sinister, so wicked…the overdubs…the message…..and from that point on, Curtis became the MAN in my book.

Of course, as I got older, I caught up on Curtis’ beginnings, his start in the industry, his relationship with "The Ice Man" Jerry Butler, the edge/change he brought to The Impressions, etc….

When Curtis was involved in that unfortunate mishap some years back in Brooklyn, the strangest coincidence happened. As you know, due to a rather severe windstorm, a light stanchion toppled off of it’s base, and fell on Mr. Mayfield. Well, at about the time this happened (approx. 7:30pm), where I live here in Manhattan (about 6 miles away), the sky darkened and a really, really strong gust of wind blew my terrace door wide open. And you know what?

It WAS about at that very same time. I had looked at my clock when it happened because I was aware that he was scheduled to headline a free concert at Prospect Park between 7 and 7:30…. room…..

The coincidence in all this is according to published reports, it was about 7:30 (this time, A.M.), that he left us…………..

Curtis Mayfield, I WILL miss you, but your voice, that sweet falsetto, your message and your unique guitar playing will ALWAYS fill my house………….

"Hey little sister

Where’s your brother

See your mother

Standin’ on the soup line

Our blessed father, ain’t got the strength to be bothered

The almighty world hear me girl

Was bent on to weigh him down

We got to stop all men, from messin’ up the land

When what we understand, this is our last and only chance

Everybody, it’s the

Future Shock, Future Shock…..





Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 18:27:54 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: A Friend’s Ode To Curtis Mayfield

Soul Patrollers, the following is from a friend of mine. I need not say anymore…

Date: 12/26/99 6:04:02 PM Eastern Standard Time

if you had a choice of colors, which one would you choose my brother?

if there were no day or night, which one would prefer to be right?

how long have you hated your white teacher?

who told you to love your black preacher?

do you respect your brother’s woman friend?

and black folks not of kin?

Curtis Mayfield

god rest his soul


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 15:30:14 -0800

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield

I usually browse the subjects first and Curtis’s death leaped out at me and I was so crushed. I went into my living room and had my daughter find all three Curtis Mayfield’s cds because I know KBLX, though they are in the middle of playing their Sunday afternoon oldies, won’t be playing him. And kissfm? Please!

That one track, If There’s a Hell Below We’re all gonna go, the drums aon that are slammin. I am battling pneumonia as we speak and feel like sh–, but listening to that and Move on Up has really helped, even though its bittersweet. I had heard Curtis was ill since that accident and I’m glad he won’t suffer anymore, but his loss will be greatly felt. I was a kid when Mom would play his music on the console. In fact, that instrumental from Super Fly was on my answering machine for months. I think I’ll go and re record my greeting and use that song as my own personal tribute to him. I have posted this before, but when I asked the radio station to play Freddy’s Dead, they said that song was too powerful, like King Heroin, so they wouldn’t play it. How many of these young kids are ignorant of Curtis Mayfield? But that’s a discussion I’ll leave alone.


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 19:48:51 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield

Perhaps it is fitting that this musical genius and giant was taken by the elders and ancestors on this, the first day of Kwanzaa, to walk among them……

His music and his life are his testament……just the titles alone bespeak the genius and spirit of the man……..

Curtis…….."It’s All Right"………..and because of you, forever……

"We’re a Winner"………


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 19:43:01 -0600 (CST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Re: Some of My Thoughts on The Late Curtis Mayfield

Vince ,

I’m still numb about his passing . I feel like a main component of Chicago soul music has departed .

Curtis contribute a huge amount of work in the music business . A few months ago , someone asked to name one person who’ s music really touches you . My selection was Curtis Mayfield . If I can pull it up from my files ,i’ll repost it .


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 21:10:42 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: A Friend’s Ode To Curtis Mayfield

"I LOVED AND I LOST" My soul aches I havent felt like this since Marvin Gaye & Phyllis Hyman passed. Lorraina


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 21:25:41 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Re: Curtis Mayfield

Gary i just heard this news myself about an hour ago. This really saddens me!

He was my man and a major influence in my life. We are losing all of our Icons.



Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 20:34:46 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: Some of My (Own) Thoughts on The Late Curtis Mayfield

Hey, Vince… The news of Curtis Mayfield’s death truly saddened me, too :(… I, like many others, practically grew up with his music (and his positive messages). And, he, too, was a Chicagoan (lived in Cabrini Green), and a major, major force in the Chicago sound. I was (and still am) so proud of him because I saw him as a "homie", so to speak.

Yet, many of his early songs, e.g., "We’re a Winner", "Move on Up", "Keep on Pushin’", just to name a few, filled my young mind, spirit and heart with SO much inner, black pride back "in the day", especially during the years of the Civil Rights movement. Then, there were also the tunes that gave "food for thought", e.g., "If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go" and "Choice of Colors. Those two songs are favorites of mine (on my LONG list…). These days, I STILL feel good, positive, and full of pride when I hear his music.

And, if those accomplishments were not enough, the brother went on to write and produce beautiful music in other areas (movies like "Superfly") and for other artists, e.g., the Five Stairsteps. Every time I hear, for example, the Stairsteps’ song "Don’t Change Your Ways", I hear Curtis’ sound, through and through… And…Didn’t he appear on the soundtrack for the movie, "Claudine"?

I will always remember and cherish Curtis Mayfield’s music and the memories. To me, he was one of the musical geniuses in my lifetime. And, thank God, Curtis got some flowers while he was living, e.g., induction(s) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 22:46:24 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: RE: The Passing of Musical Genius Curtis Mayfield

Dear Gang:

Needless to say, this one hits me like the worst ton of bricks.

Curtis, to me, was a most-constant source of inspiration. I truly loved his work. What is so weird is that I woke up this morning, and I had him on my mind–then to find out from y’all when I got home tonight that he


The man made inspirational, socially-conscious, and poetic music. He was just tremendous…he will be missed.



Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 22:53:04 -0800


i had the pleasure of seeing the impressions a few times. they didn’t have the flash of the temps or the pips but their harmonies were so pure and soulful. they’re lyrics were meaningful and they sang with so much feeling. curtis mayfield was a genius and a gentleman in a business and world where his type of manners and decency are ignored. several years ago i saw curtis mayfield and teddy pendergrass testifying before a senate sub committee on the handicapped. they were supporting the idea of insurance companies expanding their coverage for new technical products that allow the handicapped to explore their creativity more easily. they made the point that they were able to afford these products which helped them write music and lyrics but other less affluent people should also have access to the same technology. curtis was a giant.



Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 23:03:43 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: More On The Passing of Musical Genius Curtis Mayfield

i’m so sorry curtis mayfield has passed. i am glad he doesn’t have to live in a quadriplegic state anymore. his accident was a catastrophy and his existence over the past few years had to have been extremely difficult. I hope he is at peace. he’ll be deeply missed.



Date: Sun, 26 Dec 1999 20:15:51 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: More On The Passing of Musical Genius Curtis Mayfield

My sentiments exactly, Ron, but…this is truly a tough one to deal with. Curtis’ death has gotten me to think about people and events I have not thought about for years…like my buddy " Wiggs" ( the artist among us ) tie-dyeing t-shirts and etching quotes from Curtis on each…as we also wore our red, green and black patches in non-vocal protest of our how such a disproportionate number of Black soldiers were sent to the " front-lines " of ‘Nam.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 05:49:10 +0100

Subject: soul-patrol: CURTIS MAYFIELD

This is not true… somebody pinch me….. We lost so many of our favorite artists this last month that it seems like another passing away of a great among the greats would be like a bad joke. I cannot get over the shock!

This is a badddddd day for soul music and for all of us at SP. I am sure there isn’t one of us here who hasn’t a Curtis record on his shelf. On his last album (a superb piece of modern soul) some tracks had been produced by Roger Troutman and now unbelievably 1999 saw the passing of both of them! This is the worst year (in the 90’s) I can remember so far in terms of music legends leaving this earth. It really makes you think.

I’m just plain sad and shocked. I won’t go to work today and will play his music chronogically.

Wonder B


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 00:01:31 -0800

Subject: soul-patrol: OUR CURTDOM COME

Today I cried,as much as I loved Grover’s music Curtis hits a much more personal note for me.I’ll be watching "Live at Ronnie Scott’s"tonight and pouring out some O.E. for a beautiful person who could even make the life of a player sound pretty. There’s a train a comin for Curtis and he’ll be riding first class all the way.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 01:48:39 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield

In a message dated 12/27/99 2:50:25 AM E. Europe Standard Time, writes:

<< Perhaps it is fitting that this musical genius and giant was taken by the elders and ancestors on this, the first day of Kwanzaa, to walk among them…… His music and his life are his testament……just the titles alone bespeak the genius and spirit of the man…….. >>

U know something Cynamene, I never thought about it like that. This makes me feel alot better about his passing.


Happy Kwanza!



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 02:33:48 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: The Curtis/Jimi Connection

I had originally planed to do something special to celebrate the 30 the anniversary of the creation of that oxymoron we call "Black Rock", that is the original Band of Gypsy’s concert at the Filmore East in NYC on New Years Eve in 1969. However due to the events of the day I’ll defer that discussion.

What I will use this opportunity to discuss is the connection between Curtis Mayfield and Jimi Hendrix.

Sounds like an odd combination?

In fact these two have a great deal in common, they BOTH influenced the other.

1. The songs "Drifting" and "Angel" are two songs by Jimi Hendrix with an obvious influence by Curtis Mayfield, check them out if you haven’t.

2. Remember the song "Freddie’s Dead", from the Superfly album? Well if you take a close listen to it, you may just hear that "Freddie’s Dead" is really a "cover version" of "Who Knows".

3. In interviews, Jimi Hendrix was asked many times who his favorite guitar player was, most of the time his reply was …."Curtis Mayfield"!


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 02:02:23 -0600 (CST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: The Curtis/Jimi Connection

Bob ,

If you listen closely , the song "Electric Ladyland " was Curtis Mayfield influence as well as the intro to "Little Wing ." / Gary


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 04:10:30 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: R.I.P Brother Curtis Mayfield

Curtis will be with us always through his love, his music, his legacy. A true 20th century icon has passed on. May we always remember and pass on to future generations what he taught us all!

Peace to you Brother Curtis!



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 05:04:17 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Regarding Curtis Mayfield…Someone Who Was There During The Accident

Subj: Re: My Thoughts on The Passing of Curtis Mayfield

Date: 12/27/99 4:41:23 AM Eastern Standard Time

Hello once again Soul Patrollers….the following is a firsthand account of that tragic day in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park……….

Happy Holidays, Vince!

"It is so unfortunate that we lose another great, and to lose a great twice, once in 1990 (the accident) and again in 1999 is mindblowing."

(…due to a rather severe windstorm, a light stanchion toppled off of it’s base, and fell on Mr. Mayfield. Well, at about the time this happened (approx. 7:30pm)…)

"I was there…in Wingate Park for the concert and Mayfield had just come onstage. To this day, I can’t figure out why he was onstage–I heard it was to do a sound check. I never heard him introduced unless there was something wrong with the audio. The MLK (Martin Luther King) Concert Series has a notorious reputation for starting their performances late–for 4 years running, the only concert I would miss was Caribbean Night because it was too crowded and every one started at 8:00pm or later–never the designated 7:30pm–always after dark. Lots of times I would get there at 8:30pm and they would just be starting. Everything happened so fast that evening. The wind whipped up like a mini-twister. I put my binoculars up to my eyes just so I could keep them open–I remember wishing for my glasses–and I was using a mic on the stage to focus when Mayfield stepped up to it. It was about 7:30, Mayfield was standing there, the lights fell and then the ambulance pulled right up to the stage and took him across the street to the hospital."

"I remember the candlelight vigils that were kept at Kings County (Hospital) and the Mayfield mentions, prayer requests and progress reports at the concerts each Monday. I can’t imagine what Mayfield’s family is going through, losing him to paralysis and now physically from their lives. They are in my prayers."

Peace and God’s Blessings,



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 07:09:55 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: On Curtis: from a young white guy from Belgium

Curtis also touched the souls of quite some people in Europe. We didn’t have a black-white problem like the US had, but making abstraction of Curtis’ music, it can apply to any kind of situation where people are opressed or live in dificult circumstances. It’s his combination of his social criticism & his message of peace – all this combined with his musical skills – that made him unforgettable! Push on!


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 09:29:13 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Re:Curtis Mayfield’d Passing

I’m so saddened by the passing of music genius Curtis Mayfield.

From his warm ballads like The Makings Of You to his downright militant songs If There’s A hell Below he was the man. Especially back in the late 60’s early 70’s. it was Curtis who carried us thru. Example, back in 67 I was attending a predominately white junior high school 90% white and there were fights everyday. There was name calling and put downs constantly. One particular incident always stayed in my mind. A black kid was involved in a vicious verbal confrontation with a white kid. After the white kid said something very derogatory the black kid came back with that’s okay because were a winner and wer’re moving on up. Back then Curtis was a motivating force and I will always cherish his spirit and music. Also who can forget:Niggers !Whities!Jews!Crackers!

If there’s a hell below wer’re all gonna go.

Back in the 60’s that was stone cold militant music.Curtis you were the innovator the creator of such strong yet beautiful lyrics. A modern day poet.

God bless you and may you rest in peace.

And may your family be comforted and know that you have made so many of us proud and happy!


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 16:43:24 +0100

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis…..

A mail I just got from a journalist in England :

<Dear Blaise,

<yes, I heard as I was about to go to bed at 2 in the morning. I was pleased to see that it made it onto various national TV news programmes, but what terrible news!

It’s never a good day when you lose a human being as beautiful as Curtis but, on the bright side, he was one of the first black artists to really grasp the reigns of production, not only owning all of his copyrights, but also founding his own Curtom label to release and distribute his work. So Curtis really did get paid in full, and his large family should be well-cared for in his absence.

And what an amazing body of work to get paid in full for! He pushed the envelope in so many directions that people sometimes forget some of his achievements. I haven’t seen one eulogy mention his pioneering use of complex string arrangements in soul music. And the importance of his songwriting and voice often obscured what an awesome guitarist he was.

There’s no real cheer to be taken on a day like this, but at least his work on earth was done, so to speak. He was pretty unlikely to have still delivered – in this day and age – anything that could top the world-changing body of art he had already created in his heyday, and it must have been killing him to be unable to move anything below the neck. Can you imagine having to write music on an Apple Mac with your mouth, when you used to be able to play guitar like he could?

Curtis used to play London pretty regularly in the 80s, and I interviewed him in 1987, three years before that damned lighting rig did him in. I met him in a soulless, modern tourist hotel and, while it is difficult for me – as a lifelong atheist (from a highly religious family) – to talk about things like people’s auras, he really did almost visibly glow with goodness. I’ve interviewed hundreds and hundreds of artists, some of them officially religious (like Al Green), but talking to Curtis Mayfield was the only time I ever began to doubt my convictions. I have no doubt that he had flaws like all of us but, in the hour or two I spent with him, his conversation brimmed over with a wealth of spirit, compassion, resilience, joy and forgiveness that made me feel both humble and ashamed.

I know that people talk a lot of sentimental, hyperbolic BS when people have just died, but even then his demeanor brought to mind the word "beatific" – used traditionally to describe the bliss on the faces of the saints. When he was struck down by a lighting rig at an uninsured community concert – and then the West Coast rappers put on a benefit show to raise money for him, and some asshole robbed the box office – I just couldn’t grasp how such terrible things could happen to someone so good. Then I remembered the serenity that had flooded out of his every pore when we met, and knew that he would be taking it all in his stride in a way unimaginable to most of us.

He left one of the great musical legacies of our lifetimes, and it’s good to know that he was aware of his achievement while he was still alive and able to enjoy the hard-earned satisfaction.

If there is anything like an overlooked masterpiece in his purview, it would be the 1975 album "There’s No Place Like America Today" which, like the Rolling Stones’ best album (Exile On Main Street), was light on hit singles.

The mood of the album is initially dark and slow, but this is Curtis peaking in almost every musical department, not least of all as a lightning rod for raw, personal expression. Once you "get" this – in about 1.5 plays – it will hotwire your ears to your heart and soul, and monopolise your hi-fi for weeks to come. "There’s No Place…" represents Curtis so perfectly because, in amongst the gritty, post-Vietnam social realism, the despair and the resignation, songs like "So In Love", "Jesus" and "Love To The People" soar with the joy, the slow-burning hope and sense of salvation that infused and guided his life.

When I think of Curtis, I also think of tracks like "Get Down" from the earlier "Roots" album. Before Kraftwerk were concocting electronic symphonies from the urban sounds of Duesseldorf, Curtis was whipping the

environmental sounds of people breathing, panting and whooping into his bittersweet chord progressions and pounding, horn-led arrangements to create an earthy aural brew that sounds like a party, but transports you somewhere else altogether.

I feel Curtis’ death like a kick in the kidneys, but take comfort from having felt the strength of his soul face-to-face, and from the knowledge the he died knowing how much he had achieved, how much he had given to posterity and to his fellow man.


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 13:43:00 -0500 (EST)

Subject: soul-patrol: Express: Singer-songwriter Mayfield dies at 57

ATLANTA (AP) – Soul singer and songwriter Curtis Mayfield, whose work introduced a social conscience into black music at the height of the civil rights movement and who continued to make music for a decade after an accident left him paralyzed, died Sunday. He was 57. Mayfield’s string of hits included "Gypsy Woman," the gospel-tinged "People Get Ready," the rallying cry "Keep On Pushing" and the funk classic "Superfly." Warner Bros. Records spokeswoman Karen Lee announced the death Sunday. A nurse at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell confirmed that Mayfield died there Sunday morning. The exact cause of his death was not immediately available.


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 22:04:16 +0100

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield’s Homegoing/Community Self-Development

Hey Ya’ll,

When I woke up this morning and turned on the news (CNN-7:30a.m. Berlin time) I was stunned, shocked and I felt like a small wind had blown thru my living room and taken something very valuable away with it. I went to my computer and there were messages from so many people (my pal Vince in N.Y. and many others) about Mr. Mayfield’s homegoing. Its twelve hours later and I am still struggling with this…i think its gonna take me while longer:-(

But what I wanna say is at times like this, I am so proud of Bob and Mike Davis and the SOUL PATROL. Because every week, EVERY WEEK, i know that there are decent people SOMEWHERE, who are advocating, supporting, feverishly discussing and maintaining a critical, relevant and positive dialogue about the works, the struggles and contributions that African American artists have made, not just during the past few decades, but (since we are coming to the end of the century) DURING THIS PAST CENTURY


I haven’t been to ANY country yet, outside of the U.S., where people do not know who James Brown is or Aretha Franklin is or Al Green is or Louis Armstrong is or Curtis Mayfield is.(Maybe I haven’t been to enough countries yet:-) I have yet to visit any country where people don’t know what jazz is, or what blues is or what funk or hip-hop is (or at least is supposed to mean), or what gospel music is.

And I’ve said this privately to many people over the years and today I must say this AGAIN, out loud (and people can like it or lump it): if WE REALLY KNEW, how SPRIRITUALLY AND CULTURALY RICH we are as African Americans, as a people and as a culture, if we REALLY KNEW, we wouldn’t behave the way we behave towards one another, ALL TOO OFTEN. If we really knew, how vibrant and vital, how ingeniously creative and gifted we truly are; if WE KNEW, if we had an inkling about how much RESPECT the artistic contributions we have developed (in music, dance, literature, painting, sculpture, theatre…) just in this century alone, RECEIVES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES ON A DAILY BASIS,…how other people copy, mimick and STUDY the things we create…they STUDY us ya’ll…we WOULD SUPPORT one another,and give till it hurts, much more often,…we WOULD assist one another and give till it hurts, much more quickly,…we would INVEST WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY in one another and sacrifice for one another, much more eagerly,…we wouldn’t DOUBT and DIS one another as much as we do: in sum, we would BELIEVE in one another AND DEMONSTRATE IT, not just with our mouths and money, but with our time, talents and energy, MUCH MORE THAN WE DO, HERE AT THE END OF THIS CENTURY. Far too many of us are still walking around brainwashed and hoodwinked…

This is why I am very sad and angry today about brother Curtis leaving us, in my opinion, much too quickly. We can put a man on the moon and THROW AWAY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to look for water on Mars, but we can’t seem to allocate technology to help EVERYBODY with physical challenges or sicknesses live easier, healthier lives, or find enough clean water DOWN HERE ON THE EARTH, for ALL THE PEOPLE who need it desperately, right this very minute. Curtis Mayfield knew this also; he wasn’t hoodwinked or fooled or brainwashed and THAT IS WHY he wrote what he wrote and, I believe, THAT IS HOW he SUMMONED THE POWER TO SING AND RECORD HIS LAST SONGS LAYING FLAT ON HIS BACK.

In closing, I feel that brother Curtis would be very, very proud of Bob and Mike and all the people who take part in this MAJOR discussion every week. There are people on this list — griots, historians, rememberers and eye witnesses — who are telling and re-telling this story. It IS such a big story, isn’t it? It is a story that is SO BIG and a history that has been so mis-told and mis-represented mis-written for so long, that it can’t

possibly be CORRECTED all in one day or in one year. But we ARE going to CONTINUE to FIX this, aren’t we?

The Soul Patrol is networking with other Black-owned and pro-active businesses on the net.

The Soul Patrol is lobbying to support African American artists in many different projects and endeavors.

The Soul Patrol is entering a new millenium, or as I like to say (with Earl Lovelace) ”The Next Round.”

As Bradley would say, ”Keep on Keepin’ On”

Sorry for the length of this ”head rant,” but…

‘It’s a New Day…’

Pop E.B.

N.P. ”New World Order”–Curtis Mayfield


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 16:14:38 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: CURTIS MAYFIELD~~THE PARALYZED YEARS ^^^^^^^

This brotha recorded one of the "grittiest" albums of the 90 ‘s ~~ "NEW WORLD ORDER" , while he was paralyzed, and for a good bit of it lying flat on his back!! Thats incredible!! ,I hope I don’t get "flack" for this but, more so than any of the motown stuff, curtis’s "were a winner" defines that 60’s feeling for me!!

****P.S-Hey Bob,I got "new world order" from the library~~LOL!! of the something FUNKY picture of the day,and a whole lot more!!


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 16:27:52 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: The Chicago Sound and Curtiss Mayfield

Wait a minute Traci, don’t stop there Curtis was a true giant and genuis of a man. His skills as a guitar player, composer & arranger were unparalleled in his career field. One of the reasons we communicate like this is to inform and educate. Dam right his songs were powerful, powerful because they meant something to a significant group of people like us who after being dazed or confused about life, love or poverty, listened to some of his powerful music and became enlightened about the world around us, in musicallanguage that we could understand. Preach !!!!

Dam Gary you’re right on the money. Growing up in Chicago during the civil rights movement was really cool, there were only so many venues that groups like the Impressions could play even at the height of their popularity. One of their local haunts was the Regal Theatre on 47th and South Park (now named King Drive). Curtis not only produced the Impressions, but Major Lance, Gene Chandler, The Stridells, and dam near anybody else that had a smidgen of talent from the south or west side of Chicago.

He influenced everyone from the Chi-Lites, Walter Jackson, Staple Singers (Lets Do it Again) Aretha Franklin (Sparkle) that I really dont know where to begin or end, when I talk about him. We have lost one of the founding fathers of the movement and I am hurt and saddened as if I’ve lost a close friend.


Well said Charles, I was thinking of him too, because I had played Freddies

Dead and If theres a hell below during my X mas time off



You are so right Bob, Here in Chicago there were several figures of the movement,Curtis,Jesse, Bobby Seale,Dick Gregory and Muhammed Ali. They changed my life and I am a better man and person because they existed, there was no need for me to do anything because these men along with Martin & Malcom "seized the time" and we all were benefactors of their courage and collective genius.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 17:45:11 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: CURTIS



let us not mourn his passing

for he walks among the elders now

let us celebrate the goodness and

faith of his music

let us dance with the love he

expressed for humanity

let us resolve to work with

faith toward that

blessed day……





Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 17:09:22 -0600 (CST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: The Dusties Party 1999 show & Curtis Mayfield

This Thursday night from 9pm – Midnight , I will be doing the last Dusties Party for 1999 . As you know , we lost alot of talent this year . Not only will Imention and play a few selections from the people we losted , but I will take the last hour of my program and dedicated to the memory of Curtis Mayfield . / Gary


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:30:25 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: CURTIS MAYFIELD~~THE PARALYZED YEARS ^^^^^^^

no flack. it all defined the 60’s. just saw a documentary on mahalia jackson. her music was also a major part of the civil rights movement during the 50’s and 60’s. we don’t have to put any of it down fortunately we can appreciate and enjoy all of it.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:35:50 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: "We’re a Winner"………


I too shall miss the great Curtis Mayfield.

When I think back to my yesterdays, wearing my large afro and bell bottoms, his voice in song gave me the courage to stand up and be proud that I am a beatiful black woman. Oh and yes I was militant then, and his words in is songs help me as a person to identify who I was and help me to achieve what I am today.

People get ready there’s a train a comin…..



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:24:36 -0500 (EST)

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: I LOVE CURTIS MAYFIELD!

I love Curtis Mayfield! I feel sort of numb right now. I think the best tribute to pay to this music warrior is for each member of this soul-patrol family- to pull the present youth generation’s coat to this man & his music. And those of you who, perhaps wasn’t as familiar with his music-rest assured that you heard him speaking to you through some of your favorite artists like : the Staple Singers-the Let’s Do It Again soundtrack/Gladys & the Pips-the Claudine soundtrack/Jimi Hendrix-who loved Curtis’ unique guitar playing & paid tribute to him on the song Driftin’ / Aretha-the Sparkle sountrack/From the well-known: Jerry Butler’s He Will Break Your Heart & I’ve Been Trying/ Gene Chandler’s Good Times/ Nearly ALL of Major Lance’s Hits(Monkey Time, Hey Little Girl,The Matador,etc….) to the all-but-forgotten & one of my personal favs-Walter Jackson(It’s All Over, That’s What Mama Say).

This is a man that told the children of the 60s -People Get Ready & then 30yrs later, he’s telling THEIR KIDS what they were gettin’ ready for:A New World Order-simply amazing!! I felt from the 1st time I heard his last recording three yrs ago, that he had dropped on our present youth generation(hell, all of us really) the What’s Going On album of this decade. Not a couple of days go by before I usually listen to this recording. Once again, Curtis manages to rap about the times be4 the times are happening. So while my/your tears have dried (4 now), lets remember that while Curtis has moved on up to the next phase, because of the many gifts of songs he left for us- CURTIS LIVES! (do U hear me?) As a matter of fact, while you’re looking at your monitor right now- join with me in saying out loud: I LOVE CURTIS MAYFIELD!!! And thanks to the SP family for lettin’ me ramble on so much.


——————————Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:06:15 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis ‘Nuff Said

Hello one and all!

I truly hope that everyone had a joyous Christmas, and I extend to each and every one blessings for a happy and prosperous New Year!

Funny, it seems like I just sent out my thoughts on Grover’s passing, and now here I am reflecting on one of my all time faves, Curtis Mayfield. I guess what makes this even more strange, is that for some reason I had this urge to break out some Curtis this past Christmas eve. I loaded up the box with ‘ Back to The World ‘ , and of course, ‘ Superfly ‘.

I played these discs most of the weekend; then, I find out today that Curtis had passed. I remember getting into Curtis, back in the day, when I first heard a jam called ‘ Check out Your Mind ‘ , when he was with the Impressions. I was forever hooked! I think I played that 45 ( yes, peeps, 45 ) so much, I wore it out and had

to replace it.

From there it was ‘ Get Down ‘ , ‘ Underground ‘ , ‘ Little Child Runnin’ Wild ‘ ,’ Give Me Your Love ‘ , ‘ Right On For The Darkness ‘ , ‘ Kung Fu ‘ , ‘ You’re So Good To Me’ ( did you hear that, Mary J ?? ) , ‘ Trippin’ Out ‘ , ‘ Do Be Down ‘ , and so many more that space here will not permit me to include everything.

Fortunately for me, my wonderful MOM took me to see Curtis, back when he was on the Superfly tour, here in St. Louis. It was simply awesome! One talent, or should I say gift that was always overlooked insofar as it pertained to Curtis, was his guitar playing. Folks remembered his unique singing style and his writing and production skills, but Curtis was one helluva guitar player as well! Those licks and that scratchy style is unmistakable. Just listen to that vibe on ‘ Gimme Your Love ‘, it don’t get much better!

And Curtis was so versatile. From the social and political conscience, to the disco-dance grooves, to the ‘ blaxploitation ‘ soundtracks, to the do-wop and vocal stylings, Curtis could cover them all, and do all so well. Curtis was one of the Greatests – period!

I’ve always said that my favorite lp of all time was Marvin’s ‘ Whats Going On ‘ , well even before this writing, I’ve always had ‘ Superfly ‘ as a close second!Interestingly enough, now that I’ve mentioned Marvin, it seems as if the Great ones leave us prematurely- Curtis, Marvin, Jimi, Lady Day, Bird, Trane, Stevie Ray, Phyllis, but the non -talents seem to live on and flourish. There seems to be no justice in that………..

Wait! They just interrupted the news! Puff Daddy and Jennifer Lopez have just been arrested on guns and stolen property charges!

‘Nuff Said,



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:17:47 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Death of Grover Washington/Curtis Mayfield

I’m still in shock over Grover Washington’s death – and now – the passing of Curtis Mayfield. My heart is aching with sadness. I’m speechless! My sincere sympathy goes out to their families. We have lost two great musicians but thank GOD we have their music to cherish always!!!

On a lighter note — Hope all the Soul Patrollers have a happy holiday and bring in the New Year with peace and love!



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 20:26:35 -0600 (CST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: ………And Speaking of Curtis Mayfield

I was just tuninig my radio to hear some Jazz .What do I hear instead , Curtis Mayfield’s " Right On For the Darkness"

It seems as though the Jazz DJ decided to play some Curtis Mayfield instead of Jazz tonight . Right now he’s playing " Move On Up ."

Whoever spinnin’ tonight , they’re jammin’ .


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:21:08 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: The Passing of Musical Genius Curtis Mayfield

He was always one of my favorites. I know he is in a better place and at peace. He’s left behind a wealth of music for us to enjoy. I’m going to pour a little out for Brother Curtis and enjoy his music tonight.


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:22:35 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield

I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Mayfield in the summer of 1963. It was backstage at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia. My group and I had just seen the show and were hanging out with the Temps, who are friends of mine. The show included Martha and the Vandellas, the Staple Singers, Billy Butler and the Enchanters, The Temptations and headlined by the Impressions. (Man, you sure don’t see shows like that anymore; a great show, a standup comic and a movie all for $2.50.

Places like the Apollo, the Fox, the Howard, the Paramount, the Royal, the Uptown, etc. were all made special by artists such as Mr. Mayfield) We were singing a lot of "Chi Sound" in our act at the time and were very impressed (no pun) by the songs Curtis wrote. He had us sing for him and we did "God Bless Our Love". He had written that song and it had been recorded by Gene Chandler. I can still recall what a gentleman he was and how down to earth he was. When Mr. Mayfield left the Impressions and started writing new material I was initially disappointed. Then I started to listen. Mr. Mayfield, I thank you for your songs of hope, despair and truth and most importantly, PRIDE. Curtis, You will be missed.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:40:57 -0600 (CST)

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis/ Aretha

My heart does indeed go out to the Mayfield family. He was a great man, musician, producer.

He produced and brought talent out of Aretha nobody new was there on the two albums he prodced for her entitled Sparkle from 1976 and Almighty Fire from 1978.


Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 23:10:01 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield

I am saddened also by Curtis’ passing. Heaven has a poet and a beautiful singer!

I think most of my fellow SPers have given tribute to this great man in many ways and all of you expressed in words how Curtis Mayfield impacted us personally and socially.

I remember one of the first albums my sister, brother and I pooled our money together to buy was Curtis Live. When I listened to that it changed me. I was in junior high school an integrated school. I had just transferred from an almost all-white Catholic school. My last year there I was the only black girl attending the school. Anyway the integrated public school was full of racial turmoil in the early 70s.

Listening to Curtis Live I was filled with Black pride and strength. I was a closet poet at the time, mainly writing about loneliness and being shy but Curtis Mayfield helped me find another side of my writing. Songs like "We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue," "Mighty Mighty" and "I Plan To Stay A Believer" were truly great songs as well as poetry for the soul..

I am saddened by his death. But his songs remain and WE must carry on his message and continue to keep his music in our souls and ears and share it with the youth, not just in samples either. They need to hear more than just "Superfly" but also "We’re A Winner" and "Keep On Pushing" and "If There’s A Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go."


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 01:25:54 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: B.E.T: Curtis

B.E.T. had a 20 second clip about Curtis Mayfields death today. This is why we cant we support B.E.T. any longer. I was expecting a tribute maybe on the Tavis Smiley show or something. Meanwhile Puffy Daddy got plenty of press.pleeaase!


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 01:54:56 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: B.E.T: Curtis

Isnt it a shame we have to wait for VH-1 to air episodes about our heroes while B.E.T continues to air pure garbage.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 01:59:34 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: The Curtis/Jimi Connection

Bob, Cool that U remember that interview, nice segue. Jimi claimed that he dug Curtis and Terry Kath, the late guitar player from the group, Chicago. U gotta great memory.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 02:04:18 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Birthdays…Deaths

Still can’t believe that he is gone! I love and miss him so much! His music and humbleness, will always live within me. The strength, that he gave me through his music, will always live on in me. I will make Curtis’s word’s live on forever.


——————————Date: 28 Dec 99 03:49:07 PST

Subject: soul-patrol: B.E.T..The Artist…Curtis & Aretha Had ‘heated’ differences…

A few quick things…

I remember reading a first person interview with Aretha regarding her work with Curtis Mayfield during the recording of ‘Sparkle’. The Queen had some BITTER arguments over artistic stuff, and those sentiments spilled outside of the recording studio for quite a while. But Curtis definitely hooked her up.

You know what I liked best about Curtis’ music? His wonderful, heart- tugging string arrangements! If you listen to ‘Invisible’, ‘Mr. Welfare’, and ‘The Makings Of You’ (all obviously from Claudine),you’ll hear what I’m talking about. These strings are apparent on the Sparkle album, but they seem toned down and limited (Arethas’ doing?) Anyway, I think Claudine was Curtis’ best album production….

Mr. Johnson, owner of BET recently responded to a Washington Post editorial with, to say the least, fire in his belly. He made statements refering to the idea that BET has always targeted a youthful demorgraphic audience, and that it was essentially unfair for someone who is not ‘up’ on todays music scene to criticize his network programming. What Mr. Johnson doesn’t understand is that WE THE FOLKS understand he targets 18-24 year olds, but his older viewers are reaching out to a network and a man who has the power and resources to present key entertainment for older age groups. Man, does he talk to people on the streets?

Does he really think that 18-24 year olds won’t watch a retrospective on P-funk? Or Roger and Zapp? The Dells? Here we are, the public, telling this guy that we don’t want to always rely on VH1 to bring us these types of BEHIND THE MUSIC retrospectives. There are tons of black artists that BET can profile that VH1 hasn’t touched …YET.

Peabo Bryson, Teddy P., Deniece Williams (listen to Will Smiths W2K album for a song called Rain where he samples her I Do Believe In Miracles jam), Betty Wright, Curtis Mayfield, DJ Rogers, Howard Hewett, and so on. The youngsters will watch too (the sample these artists like crazy…oh yeah, they would watch!) All of these artists (Isaac Hayes man!) would make for compelling documentaries that R&B lovers would enjoy. THIS is obviously a ‘knife-in-my-ass’ issue with BET. Oh, I support BET, but I hunger for some growth….And lastly (whew!), BOB, don’t forget to check out The Artists’ pay-per-view concert on New Years Eve. It should be slammin’!

Clark Gable- a 38 year old who grew up listening to the good s##t, but knows as much about DMX as any 16 year old. We’re out here Mr. BET…you better recognize!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 07:12:02 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: Curtis


Oh my God, this one really hurts. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t listen to some Curtis; most of his songs have become mantras for me. I don’t know what to say. There will never be another talent like this mighty man. He really could transcend with his music. I’m really shook up.

Bob…. I could’nt agree more that Curtis and Jimi are kindred spirits…. one of my favorite Curtis albums is "There’s no place like America today" …. gives me that "Have you ever been…" vibe; that swirling Leslie effect on the guitar. I really can’t believe that he’s gone.



Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 08:07:12 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: "Curtis ‘Nuff Said

I loaded up the changer with Curtis last night and was once again amazed of his versatility. He was such a talent.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 08:39:43 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: The Curtis/Jimi Connection


I’d never realized this before, but I’d have to say I’d agree. I could just hear Curtis doing those. Funny, tho….I was just playing Little Wing the other night on MY Strat.



Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 09:50:28 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: B.E.T: Curtis

Gary, I knew Curtis, Helen (first wife) Little Curtis etc. and what is so sad, is that Curtis got injured in Brooklyn, because he was asked to go on stage, because, Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes were late, and the promoters asked Curtis, who was headlining and he agreed. This unfortunately was an accident that was destined to happen. Curtis Mayfield’s music speaks for him, and everyone knows, that he has graced us with his presence in this world. I know the whole story, about the split between Jerry, and Curtis, Curtis and The Impressions, but this is not the time to elaborate, God rest his soul….he was a good man. Now Zeke Carey’s (of The Flamingos) is also NOT to be overlooked or down-played, because The Flamingos contribution to the world of music was also HUGE. Zeke Carey expired either Christmas Eve, or Christmas Day in the Walter Reed Hospital…..Washington DC. His last performance was singing "I Only Have Eyes For You" on the PBS "50 Years of Doo-wop. The Flamingos were nominated for The Rock n Roll Hall, but were not inducted……which seems to be the norm for a lot of pioneer R&B groups.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 10:35:01 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Puffy and Jennifer Lopez arrested

At the risk of getting banned let me say this: Puffy is not half the man Curtis Mayfield WAS.



Date: Mon, 27 Dec 1999 18:30:25 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: CURTIS MAYFIELD~~THE PARALYZED YEARS ^^^^^^^

NAW, growing up in a black radio station, being serviced with all genres of music, my love for all the music that mattered is a Given, but in my "space&time" it was maybe 65′ or 66′ when the power of

music hit me

~~>>>Record playing at the time ,"We’re a Winner" by the Impressions!! , just one of those things!!" opinions & a-holes~LOL", Back to Curtis, the courage & grace he displayed during the paraplegic period in his life is something everyone can take strength from!! It is truly inspirational !! ,no whining or projected bitterness didn’t even know that "fiasco" was uninsured, Dag ~There is a dark side to "New World Order" but it’s to "heavy" for me at this time to put into words!! the stuff with "ROGER~R.I.P" is now as "haunting" as it is funky!! ……..P.S-Mahalia Jackson is the "queen" of

FUNK !! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

———————————————————————-Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:15:04 ESTSubject: soul-patrol: Mr. Mayfield

I was channel surfing a couple of nights ago. I came upon a CNN clip that was almost over. It was about Curtis Mayfield. The voice over on the report said the word "was" in relation to Mayfield. It was a very shabby report, because at the end there were no dates given (no year of birth-year of death), and the report didn’t give Mayfield’s age at the end like most news reports usually do when someone dies. But this morning I just had a bad feeling about it. I kept remembering the phrase "Mayfield was" in that report.

I rarely ever watch tv in the mornings, but I never heard any reports on Mayfield on a radio station yesterday morning either. This is the lack of respect they gave him. But when I saw someone post about Mayfield’s death I wasn’t shocked.

I’m not as old as most of you on the list who post regularly (not trying to be funny), but I did grow up listening to Mayfield’s music. He was one of the most underrated guitarists in the history of music. Period. Not just "black music", not just soul, not just r&b, in MUSIC.

I’m one of those people who heard the Mayfield/Hendrix connection early on. Listening to the title track to Electric Ladyland you can clearly hear Mayfield’s influence in the multi-tracked vocal harmony Jimi laid down for that song. THAT was vintage Mayfield.

Curtis also played the most intoxicating wah wah guitar this side of Hendrix. When you hear one or the other, you don’t get the two confused (that’s where their individuality came in), but you can hear Mayfield’s influence in Hendrix, and I’m sure Curtis thought Hendrix’s playing was revolutionary by the same token. The greats can usually hear the greatness in other greats.

One of the earliest songs penned by Curtis that I never get tired of is "Let’s Do It Again" by the Staple Singers. My mother had Staple Singers records in our house when I was a little kid. Back then I didn’t know it was written by Curtis, but later on I found out. And of course "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" was another one he penned for Aretha. It was never one of my favorite songs, but during the ’90s I was glad that it SATURATED the airwaves by En Vogue, simply because it brought Mayfield more money (if he wasn’t being ripped off from it), and more exposure (for those who like to read liner notes).

Of course during the ’70s he came into his own as a solo artist. I remember hearing him all the time back then. His music stuck to my ribs then, and still does now. It stays with you. About 4 or 5 years ago I picked up his 3 cd box set. It’s a must have for any Mayfield fan.

His music (along with the Impressions)was part of the soundtrack to the civil rights/Black Power movement as much as anyone else’s during the late ’60s. From hip hop to r&b, scores of artists/non-artists have sampled his music. And I doubt that most of them have the respect for it that it deserves.

Once I read an interview with Mayfield back in the early ’90s. It was in Musician magazine if I’m not mistaken. He lamented the fact that he couldn’t play guitar anymore. That was the ONLY thing I ever heard him lament. He wasn’t the type to complain about his situation. That was the only thing I heard him ever mourn–his guitar playing.

Aside from hip hop and r&b samples, I hear Mayfield in some of Meshell Ndegéocello’s music. I’ve always said that she is a combination of Mayfield, Prince, and Gil Scott-Heron. If you listen to her you’ll realize where I’m coming from, especially her first two albums.

Curtis supplied part of the soundtrack to our youth. "Give Me Your Love" is one of the most seductive piece of works on wax. Or cd. When I think of Mayfield and his music, I think of a time in American history when Blacks were more united than we are now. We weren’t totally united, but we were MORESO back then. We had hope.

Later on after his accident in the ’90s. I always thought to myself, "at least the brother is still with us". I wish I could still say that today.

This is the reason I always tell people we should appreciate artists like B.B. King and John Lee Hooker while they’re still alive and healthy. None of us will be around forever, and neither will they. A lot of us take our living legends (in ANY field) for granted. It’s a damn shame. They’re mortal just like everyone else. Give them their due when they’re alive so they’ll know they are appreciated.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 15:57:10 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Alive And Kicking

Interestingly enough, now that I’ve mentioned Marvin, it seems as if the Great ones leave us prematurely- Curtis, Marvin, Jimi, Lady Day, Bird, Trane, Stevie Ray, Phyllis, but the non -talents seem to live on and

flourish. There seems to be no justice in that………..


I disagree with this statement. There are plenty of living legends still around. Most just take them for granted when their names aren’t in the top 40 anymore.

Stevie’s still here, as is Aretha, Etta, Chuck Berry, Fats Dominoe, Bo Diddley, Ruth Brown, Lena Horne, Al Green, the Staple Singers, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, The Isleys, most of the members of PFunk, James Brown, Booker T. & The MG’s (minus the great Al Jackson, Jr.), Elvin Jones, etc. I wish people would just WAKE UP and realize that there are plenty of legends alive and kicking. Just because they’re not on tv shaking their asses in a video or on the charts all the time doesn’t mean they’re all gone.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 13:15:07 -0800 (PST)

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield & The Task Ahead

I "Finally Got Myself Together" just enough to write about Curtis.

This last part of ’99 and the century is leaving us with a mighty creative void to fill. "Bags", "The Mighty Burner", Grover, Lester Bowie and now Curtis have left us.

"We People Who Are Darker Than Blue" have a great task ahead of us, this "New World Order" must "Keep On Pushing" and fill the void yet again.

So "People Get Ready", the 21st century is upon us. It’s time to "Check Out Your Mind" and buckle up to the task of getting our musical culture "Back To

Living Again."


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 16:45:00 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: curtis

just like the rest of y’all i 2 am saddened by his death. my buddy mike woke me up 2 him when we were in college. he was always a huge fan of curtis,& he had an album of his impressions work & solo stuff. it was on sire records.

unfortunately,he lost it in a fire,& it’s out of print. because of him,i got in2 curtis mayfield. i love the way he sang in honor of our women, & our race,& pointing the finger at the establishment ala dylan. i’m so glad that he owned all of his music.he wasn’t angry about his accident,but he said he would give anything 2 play his axe again. 2 the mayfield family, if u are reading this know that the soul patrol family grieves 4 your loss,but through here,mr mayfield’s music will be kept alive.


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 18:01:06 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: THE REST OF THE IMPRESSIONS!!

Our local stations here in Atlanta have been airing video& interviews from Curtis’s service today, and the rest of the Impressions look great & and very healthy, which makes Curtis’s "accident" &subsequent death that much more bizarre, tragic & sad!!


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 18:20:24 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfields funeral~~

I was gonna leave the curtis thing alone for now ,but check this, our local news here in atlanta just had a interview with the rest of the impressions, and said that off camera they expressed frustration at the "low" turn-out for Curtis’s service,I’m kinda miffed at that…BOB DAVIS ,whats your opinion on that??! !


Date: Tue, 28 Dec 1999 18:35:03 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfields funeral~~

What’s their defintion of low turn out? Maybe family wanted that way?


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 08:41:52 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: FINAL THOUGHT ON CURTIS***

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-NAW,I GET THE




*********************************furthermore, if people did in fact take such a callous attitude towards the death of one of our brightest "teachers", then god help us all, given the mardi-gra/near riot,funearal for the "poot-butt-ass" rapper B.I.G>>>How many " final" nails will we watch being nailed into the coffin of "rhythm &blues" **************


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 11:07:24 EST

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: FINAL THOUGHT ON CURTIS***

Curtis Mayfields roots, were in Chicago, and his funeral would have been well attended in this city, by folks that loved him……Artist, Producers, Musicians, Family & Old Friends. Curtis grew up on the west side of Chicago, with friend Jerry Butler. He relocated to Atlanta many years later.



Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 13:46:27 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfields funeral~~

the arrangements were kept quiet and were carried out very quickly. It seems the family wanted the funeral to be private and completed as quickly as possible.



Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 14:03:15 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfields funeral~~

curtis lived a private life in the city. he wasn’t everywhere you went announcing his presence like jermaine dupri does in this town. alot of black folks here didn’t even know curtis lived in atlanta.



Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 14:13:16 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Re: Mr. Mayfield

i agree with you prince. en vouge’s version did not compare to aretha’s musically. however, their video got me hot enough to boil water. lol



Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 14:34:17 -0800

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: FINAL THOUGHT ON CURTIS***

i agree. as i said earlier curtis lived a quiet life in atlanta. many here assumed he still lived in chicago. he wasn’t part of the atlanta ”party to be seen” crowd and there weren’t alot of people who had shared his rise in

the music industry with him.



Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 21:55:55 EST

Subject: soul-patrol: Re: "The Soul Patrol Digest" V1 #767

with all of this talk about mr. mayfield, i think i will head to manhattan to downstairs records and purchase the "Claudine" soundtrack..always loved the strings of the songs but never bought way of remembering Curtis Mayfield..


Date: Wed, 29 Dec 1999 22:27:14 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis and Grover

ADDENDUM to my earlier email re: Mr. Mayfield and Mr. Washington. IT’S ALRIGHT not to be the most popular but IT’S ALRIGHT TO BE REMEMBERED AS THE BEST!



Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 00:29:15 -0500

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: The year’s best? & Curtis

Maybe the end really IS near!

I should add that my 7 year old girl loves BSB, but at least she can ID Jimi and Muddy Waters and James Brown. She does think Prince/The Artist is funny for "trying to sound like a girl."

On the subject of Curtis Mayfield, I heard the news Sunday (oh, boy) and thought, "How awful." Driving to work Monday I heard a news bit on NPR. They played a snatch of "People Get Ready," and there I was on the highway with tears rolling down my cheeks.

Happy New Year, everyone.



Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:28:02 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield funeral

>3. I ran into a sista today who had just returned from Atlanta last >night,

>and I asked her what the mood of the city was in light of the >death of

>Curtis Mayfield? She replied, "Most of the Black people I >know in Atlanta

>could have cared less"

This is a crying shame. I guess Curtis Mayfield’s music didn’t do much for them, although you couldn’t tell given the response to his death on this mailing list. I’m not old enough to say that his music touched me in the context of the times, I listened because I liked his sound, & I enjoyed his music. When I found out about his death, I was saddened because I had done a little "research" beforehand and found out how talented he was and what he meant in the context of not only black music, but music in general.

I am saddened and a bit upset at the apathy displayed by Atlantans. Of course this is subject to change, as the sista’s friends could’ve possibly represented a small sample of Atlantans…

I’m not saying flags should be flown at half-mast, or that the city be shut down, but I would expect something along the lines of all the discussion that went on & still goes on about Mayfield the man & his music..

I’ll get off my soapbox now



Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:06:27 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield as a producer

I just wanted to respond to both of these guys about my feelings on Curtis Mayfield as a producer. The three best soundtracks which Curtis produced as far as I am concerned are Number 1, "lets do it again" by the Staple Singers, Favorite cuts, "the title cut and "New Orleans" (still trying tofind this, but I’m not going to break the rules,:-)), Number 2, "Sparkle", by "The Queen" Ms Aretha Franklin, "Rock with me" and "hooked on your love". Finally "Claudine", my favorites on that album by "Gladys Knight and the Pips, are "Mr Welfare" and "On and On". It is a great loss to the R & B history to lose such a great Producer.



Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 01:28:02 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield funeral

I thought since they were from Atlanta the Mighty Tams might have attended the funeral but they were unable to go. I spoke to Charles Pope today and he said their hearts are heavy with the loss of their friend. Curtis was a musical genius and a wonderful person. The Tams and the Impressions go back a long way, he will be missed by so many.


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 05:59:07 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: soul-patrol: Re: Mr. Mayfield

IMHO, the reason why "Something He Can Feel" didn’t do so well on the POP charts as well as it should have was because it was a doo-wop tune (albeit a VERY fine one at that)released in the middle of the disco era. Anyone agree/disagree on that?



Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 11:09:27 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Chat Session on 1/1/2000 at 9pm est:Topic Curtis Mayfield

Join us at 9pm est tomorrow night 1/1/2000 as we bring in the new year by opening up our new chat room for adiscussion about the life and times of the "second greatest singer/songwriter" in the history of Soul music, the late Curtis Mayfield.

The session will be hosted my our own Ron "Mr. Soul" Mcintyre and it should be both educational and fun. Everyone is welcome to attend, the chat room is open to all, even to non soul patrol members, so be sure and tell your friends on the net who dig Curtis Mayfield. Ron will tell us more about what he has in store for us!

So far out testing of the chat room has worked out pretty well, with everyone from all ISP’s/Platforms able to use it (even WEB TV)

To enter the chat room, just go to the following URL:

1. sign in with a name

2. say hello to everyone

3. join in the conversation

4. don’t be an asshole 🙂

If you get "bumped" from the chat room, just refresh the screen and sign back in again

We are still in test mode with it, but soon we will be announcing our chat schedule. If you are interested in hosting a chat, just drop me an email with your ideas for a chat session and we can discuss it.


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:26:55 PST

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis & Other Volumes

This is my first time writing in to the Soul Patrol after some time as a lurker (since I’ve yet to get the Internet at home and libraries don’t allow much time to surf).

With the passing of Curtis Mayfield, we’ve lost a huge volume (at least) of musical history…but then, we’ve been losing quite a number of musical (and other kinds of) volumes this year, and especially in the last months—Milt Jackson, Charles Earland, Lester Bowie, Grover Washington Jr., and others.

I’m no fatalist, but it seems as though the fates are somehow cleaning huge portions of the slate for the coming millennium, however outrageous that may sound.

In any case, we have the Soul Patrol to get for information about our music and related topics, and writing volumes of more history in the process.

With appreciation,



Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 20:08:19 -0800

Subject: soul-patrol: Mayfield Tribute

"The recent death of soul legend Curtis Mayfield is on the minds of everyone in the music industry. Now a tribute album to Curtis, who was buried this past Tuesday, is currently in the works. According to Marv Heiman, his manager of 30 years, there has been an outpouring of entertainers wanting to do something to honor the man and his music.

"We’re working right now, and it’s a hard week to do it with the holidays, but many of the major recording stars have contacted us that want to do something," Heiman told "So, what I think we’re gonna do is one memorial service where a bunch of the superstars are going to come together to do a tribute musically to Curtis, and we’ll tie it together with some kind of charitable foundation.

Among the artists who’ve already asked to be involved are Eric Clapton and Gladys Knight."

(As reported by EUR) . . .


Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2000 17:23:52 -0600

Subject: soul-patrol: Curtis Mayfield tribute

I’m glad a tribute album is going to be done but I’m also glad a tribute album was done while he was alive. My mother use to say before she died, "Give me flowers while I can still smell them."

Amelia Feathers, the other A.F.


Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2000 18:53:16 -0600 (CST)

Subject: soul-patrol: The Dusties Party Playlist 12/30,/99 The last show of 1999

Hello and Happy New Year . His the playlist from Thursday night show .


The Impressions – never let me go

– fool for you

– minstrel & queen

– this is my country

– you must believe me

– check out your mind

– sad, sad, girl & boy

– can’t satisfy

– woman’s got soul

Curtis Mayfield – we’re a winner ( live )

– give me your love ( superfly )

Five Stairsteps – don’t waste your time

Gene Chandler – just be true

Curtis Mayfield – people ge ready ( live )

– nothing on me ( superfly )

Aretha Franklin – look into your heart ( sparkle )

Glayds Knight – the makings of you (claudine) Curtis Mayfield – the

makings of you ( live )

Staple Singers – let’s do it again

Curtis Mayfield – so in love

– think ( superfly )


To the following , rest in peace .

Charles Brown

Lowell Fulsom

Mel Torme

Gwen Guthrie

Dusty Springfield

Joseph "Mighty Joe" Young

Joe Williams

Red Norvo

Al Hirt

Harry " Sweets" Edison

Katie Webster

Frank Frost

Fred Hopkins

Dennis Brown

Wilt Chamberlain

Jaki Byard

Roger Troutman

Augustus Pablo

Payne Stewart

Leon Thomas

Donald Mills

John F. Kennendy Jr.

Walter Payton

Charlie Byrd

Big L

Freaky Tah

Don " Sugarcane" Harris

Art Farmer

Milt Jackson

Jr. Braithwaite

Gerald " Bounce" Gregory

Rick Danko

Doug Sahm

Lester Bowie

Alvin Cash

Grover Washington Jr.

Zeke Carey

Curtis Mayfield

May your music and memory live on . I’ll talk to you tonight in the chat

room . / Gary


Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2000 01:31:48 -0500

Subject: soul-patrol: Tonights Curtis Mayfield Chat Session

I just wanted to thank everyone who showed up for tonight’s chat session! We had a very nice discussion that lasted for about 2 hrs, very ablely hosted by bro Ron. About 12 people showed up tonight and I had a lotta fun.The chat room held up fairly well also …

We will be announcing a permanent chat schedule soon, we already have several chat hosts who will be running sessions.

Keep in mind that the room is open on a 24/7 basis so we can have them around the clock, especially for those of you who are in Europe, Asia & Australia.

All we need are people to host the sessions. Email me if u are interested.

– —————————————————–

Bob Davis

– —————————————————– – Click Here For SOUL PATROL

– —————————————————–

End of "The Soul Patrol Digest" Sunday, Jan 2 2000 SPECIAL EDITION

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