Ask "Mr. Music"
November 15, 2010
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Wednesday from now on.
Be sure to stop by Jerry's site www.jerryosborne.com for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. I thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.
More Mr. Music Articles
Ask "Mr. Music"
November 15, 2010 - "Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
I remember that Curtis Mayfield died on or near Christmas many years ago, somewhere in Georgia, but to this day I never heard even a peep as to the cause of his death. I don't think it was foul play.
Did they not know or were they just not saying?
Please look into this. Maybe you can come up with an answer.
- Ryan Gooding, Macon, Ga.
When Curtis Mayfield's life ended December 26, 1999, he was a patient at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Georgia.
The gradual shutdown of his body that culminated in his death began with a tragic accident nearly a decade earlier.
For that we backtrack to Monday, August 13, 1990. Curtis performed in New York that day on an outdoor stage at Wingate Field, a popular Brooklyn venue well-known for their free summer concerts.
Suddenly, portions of the overhead lighting equipment came crashing down on Curtis, leaving him permanently paralyzed from the neck down.
After the accident, his mind and vocal skills - speaking and singing - functioned normally. The rest of his body was deadened.
Death came as the result of progressively declining health overall, especially with his vital organs - all directly attributed to his paralysis.
Considering his dreadful condition, Curtis amazed everyone by composing and then recording 13 songs for what would be his final album.
Necessity being the mother of invention, the engineers fashioned a remote setup that allowed them to record Mayfield's vocals from his bed, then return to the studio and piece everything together.
This worked so well that the resulting collection, "New World Order," is flat-out indistinguishable from anything made before the accident.
It also put Curtis back on the charts, for the first time since 1985. "New World Order," released in October 1996, made the Top 30 R&B LPs, and remained on the charts for nearly one year.
The album also yielded three hit singles: "New World Order"; "No One Knows About a Good Thing (You Don't Have to Cry)"; and "Back to Living Again." The latter carries a message Curtis must have felt deeply:
"It's best to get back on track
Ain't no need in lookin' back
Try, then try again
Sometimes you lose
Sometimes you win"
Most music aficionados know about the 70 or so hits Curtis Mayfield wrote, either for the Impressions when he sang lead for them, or for himself when he went solo.
What is not such common knowledge is that about 65 other Mayfield songs became chart hits for other artists.
Here are a few prime time examples, and those who made them popular:
"He Will Break Your Heart" (Jerry Butler; Righteous Brothers; Tony Orlando & Dawn)
"Find Another Girl"; "I'm a Telling You" (Jerry Butler)
"Need to Belong" (Jerry Butler; Laura Lee)
"Just Be True"; "Rainbow"; "Man's Temptation"; "Nothing Can Stop Me"; "What Now" (Gene Chandler)
"Mama Didn't Lie" (Jan Bradley)
"The Monkey Time"; "Hey Little Girl"; "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"; "It Ain't No Use"; "Girls"; "Rhythm"; "Sometimes I Wonder"; "Come See"; "Ain't It a Shame" (Major Lance)
"It's Too Late" (Walter Jackson)
"Gotta Get Away"; "Nevertheless"; "I Can't Work No Longer" (Billy Butler)
"Say It Isn't So"; "Girls Are Out to Get You"; "I'm in Love" (Fascinations)
"Danger! She's a Stranger"; "Don't Change Your Love"; "Baby Make Me Feel So Good"; "We Must Be in Love" (Five Stairsteps)
"Long, Long Winter" (Linda Clifford)
"Curious Mind (Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um)" (Johnny Rivers)
"On and On" (Gladys Knight and the Pips)
"Let's Do It Again"; "New Orleans" (Staples Singers)
"Jump"; "Hooked on Your Love"; "Look Into Your Heart" (Aretha Franklin)
"Giving Him Something He Can Feel" (En Vogue)
IZ ZAT SO?
Apart from all of the above are three Curtis Mayfield compositions, each a huge hit for the Impressions, that sold as well or better when revived by other artists:
"Gypsy Woman" (Brian Hyland)
"I'm So Proud" (Main Ingredient; Deniece Williams)
"People Get Ready" (Jeff Beck & Rod Stewart)
MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
Don Drysdale single, Jerry Fuller Hits
"Early to Bed", and "Whale Wars" opening music
Most valuable soundtracks and stage cast records - part 3
Most valuable soundtracks and stage cast records continued
Most valuable soundtracks and stage cast records
First mention of "The Beatles" in a U.S. publication
Artists whose albums span 50 years or more
Sand, Neil & Jack, and Shombalor
Grammys late to the Rock 'n' Roll category
All Original Band Members Still Living, and World's First Liquid-filled Record
Billboard Top 10 exactly the same for two consecutive weeks
YOU KNOW WHO GROUP FINALLY UNMASKED!
Digital music and books, plus Donna Summer album sales
Mystery song revealed, plus Instrumentalist Russ Conway
Most years between first No. 1 LP and last
Norah Jones and the Grammy Awards
"Beetle Bug Boogie" and "Sioux City Sue"
"As Time Goes By" from the film "Casablanca"
"Beg, Borrow Or Steal" and Adele's "21"
The Beatles... Yesterday and Today butcher cover prices
Co-Star (The Record Acting Game)
No. 1 instrumentals, No. 1 songs by gals, entre nous
The First Various Artists Compilations
Famous artists who never won a Grammy
Katrina and the Waves, Whirlpool, and Skokiaan
Adele and other multiple Grammy Winners
"I'm My Own Grandpa" and "Never on Sunday"
"Missing Recording Credits - 10 top C&W artists"
"On the South Side of Chicago"
Italian song on "Breaking Bad" - Christmas hits in January
"Ladder of Success" by Skeeter Davis and "Matchbox" by the Beatles
LPs and singles that charted on two labels
Songwriter Chuck Woolery, and the male voice in "Pink Shoe Laces"
Cover songs and I Didn't See the Time Go By
Sammy Davis Jr. sings Mr. Bojangles
Opening chord on "A Hard Day's Night" and "X" recording artists
"Eda Weda Bug", and One-Christmas-hit wonders
First rock No. 1 albums - Original Christmas songs
Unknown first labels of hit songs, and values
Frankie Avalon and Bobby Vinton
Attempt to eliminate all record speeds except 33
"Unidentified performers", "Columbia Records"
Summertime Lovin', Little Joe the Wrangler
The end of 78s, the beginning of the LP format
Music hit-makers that resorted to suicide
Most singles without a best seller, plus Tony Bennett is back on the charts
Three-inch CD mini single - No. 1 albums with no previous chart singles
B-side mix up, Dotty Daniels, and Paul Revere and the Raiders
Sales records, Jimmie Rodgers Blues, and Pic-Discs
I've Been Everywhere, and Sioux City Sue
It's G/B for me. Plus 3 record sets
Top singles artist who never had a charted album
Grammy Awards, 1950s and '60s acts
Dotty Daniels and D. Goodman
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard" continued
The many versions of "Open the Door, Richard"
"Simon and Garfunkel earlier singles
"Ahab, the Arab" by Ray Stevens
"Longest note held by a solo female singer"
"More about The You Know Who Group"
"Nina Simone - biggest hits and controversial songs"
"No. 1 Instrumentals"
"The Ballad of Paladin by Johnny Western"
"Who had the greatest number of albums on the charts"
"Roses Are Red My Love by The You Know Who Group"
"Most popular American Idol contestants"
"Elvis lowest and highest notes - New albums from accomplished artists"
"Date Bait" & "Mummenschanz"
"Gibberish lyrics, and Maggie Flynn"
"R&B and C&W Crossovers, plus '60s Grammys picks"
"Overused song titles and comical oldies"
"The mysterious death of teen idol Dean Reed"
"Manhattan by Dinah Washington - Got a Match? by the Daddy-O's"
"Katherine Hepburn Speaking for Freedom 78 rpm"
"The Ballad of Ronnie - and Mildred Bailey"
"Osmonds and Jacksons - I'll Cry Instead: Beatles"
"Frim Fram Sauce, and the Beatles Maggie Mae"
"George Michael's soul success with "Faith"
"A Bunch of Queers Presents Warlock"
"Has there ever been a commercial 78 rpm recorded in stereo?"
"River Nile" by "LEROY and His Rockin' Fellers"
Patsy Montana's "I Wanna Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart"
"Diana Krall song & Susan Boyles' career"
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.
Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site: www.jerryosborne.com.
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.
Copyright 2010 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission
|- - For Links to - -|
Blues, Jazz, Country, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click 'Main Music Page' below.
DigitalDreamDoor.com is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.
Copyright © 2010 - DigitalDreamDoor.com
All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of DigitalDreamDoor.com. To view the Home page click