Born: June 3, 1942 | Died: December 26, 1999 Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor
With a distinctive, highly recognizable tenor voice, an unparalleled catalog of enduring pop and soul classics and an honored place in the pantheon of American music, Curtis Mayfield is without question one of the most influential and beloved artist/songwriters of his time.
Born in Chicago in 1942, Mayfield absorbed the city's rich heritage of blues and gospel music and even before reaching his teen years he had formed his first group, The Alphatones. Later, renewing a childhood friendship with Jerry Butler, he formed a group with three others, brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks and Sam Gooden, all from Tennessee. First called The Roosters the band was soon re-christened The Impressions, who recorded a breakthrough hit, For Your Precious Love, in 1958, one of what was to become an almost endless string of Mayfield hit songs to hit high positions on the record charts....
Source: Songwriters Hall of Fame