Coming out of the Texas Tenor tradition of honkers, Curtis Amy was of the same generation as Booker Ervin, David Fathead Newman, James Clay and Wilton Felder, but his time in the jazz spotlight was brief. Amy had a beautiful sound and a style that was both brawny and lyrical. The major influences on Amy's style were the tenor saxophonists Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt. Although he had a long and successful career in his transplanted home of Los Angeles, much of it was spent doing high profile studio work and working with his wife, the extraordinary vocalist Merry Clayton.
Born in 1929, Amy had taken up the clarinet when he was a child, and in 1946 enrolled at Wiley College, in Texas, to continue his studies. He dropped out, and then worked as a postman before joining the US Army in 1947.