Curtis Mayfield, (conceived June 3, 1942, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.— kicked the bucket December 26, 1999, Roswell, Georgia), American vocalist, lyricist, guitarist, maker, and business visionary who was one of the primary engineers of Chicago-based soul music during the 1960s and ’70s. Starting with his most punctual tunes, for example, “Tramp Woman” (1961), “It’s All Right” (1963), “Continue Pushing” (1964), and “Individuals Get Ready” (1965)— when he was lead vocalist of the Impressions, Mayfield composed exceedingly helpful, humanistic pieces worried about African American inspire. His arrangements progressed toward becoming benchmarks in the collections of craftsmen as shifted as Rod Stewart, Bob Marley, and Brian Hyland.
Mayfield entered the music business in 1957, when he turned into a vocalist and guitarist with the Impressions, whose different individuals were Jerry Butler, Sam Gooden, and siblings Richard and Arthur Brooks. Steward left in 1958 and was supplanted by Fred Cash; the Brooks siblings left in 1962. With the gathering decreased to a trio, Mayfield, alongside Gooden and Cash, formulated a much-imitated vocal style, an articulated three-section substituting lead, which enabled Mayfield’s sensitive high tenor to be adjusted by Gooden’s bass and Cash’s low tenor. Gotten from gospel music, this turn off strategy required every vocalist to take a turn with the lead part while the others gave backing congruity. It was later embraced by gatherings, for example, Sly and the Family Stone and Earth, Wind and Fire.
A surprisingly inventive guitarist, the self-educated Mayfield tuned his instrument to a characteristic harmony to accomplish an unpretentious, melodious sound. Numerous different guitarists in Chicago imitated his playing, and the Mayfield style appeared on multitudinous soul records made in the place where he grew up. Mayfield additionally was a noteworthy giver of tunes to other soul entertainers—a large portion of them from Chicago. Among the individuals who recorded his structures were Jan Bradley, Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler, Aretha Franklin, Walter Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Major Lance, and the Staple Singers. In the late 1960s, with so much melodies just like “a Winner” (1967) and “Selection of Colors” (1969), recorded with the Impressions, Mayfield assumed a vital job in changing dark well known music into a voice for social worry during the battle for social equality.
In 1961 he wound up one of the main African Americans to establish his own music distributing organization. After six years he built up the very fruitful Curtom Records, which turned into a main maker of soundtrack collections for dark situated movies and for which Mayfield and such craftsmen as Gene Chandler, Major Lance, and the Five Stairsteps recorded. Mayfield left the Impressions in 1970 to function as a soloist and in this manner turned into a noteworthy power in the advancement of funk, with so much tunes as “(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going to Go, ” “Wonderful Brother of Mine,” and “We People Who Are Darker Than Blue.” Although he accomplished extensive acknowledgment for such collections as Curtis (1970) and Curtis/Live! (1971), it was through the account of soundtracks for films that Mayfield made his greatest progress, especially with Superfly (1972). Mayfield’s last top ten beat and-blues hit was “Just You Babe” in 1976. He battled during the ensuing disco period and by the mid-1980s was never again a factor on the beat and-blues or pop diagrams.
Mayfield was deadened starting from the neck by an oddity mishap during a show in 1990. He got a Grammy Award for lifetime accomplishment in 1995, and he was drafted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an individual from the Impressions in 1991 and as a performance craftsman in 1999. He was the writer of Poetic License: In Poem and Song (1996), a book of verse and tune verses.