Authors Of Duane Allman, King Curtis Books To Unite For Memphis Event

Duane Allman and King Curtis - Photo: Stephen Paley/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
Duane Allman and King Curtis - Photo: Stephen Paley/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

The authors of new books on Duane Allman and King Curtis will unite in conversation about the great collaboration between the two late music giants in Memphis on November 10. Kindred Spirits: Duane Allman, King Curtis, and the Soul of Southern Music will feature Bob Beatty, author of Play All Night: Duane Allman and the Journey to the Fillmore East, and Timothy Hoover (Soul Serenade: King Curtis and His Immortal Saxophone).

The event will take place at Memphis Listening Lab at Crosstown Concourse, 2nd Floor, 1350 Concourse Ave. In addition to the discussion between the two writers, it will feature a listening session, and book signings. Beatty’s book on Allman was published by University Press of Florida, and Hoover’s on Curtis by University of North Texas Press, both on October 30. The event starts at 6.30pm with free admission. More information is here.

The two great musicians came together when both were in-demand session musicians for Atlantic Records, while Allman was under contract with Tony Hall at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. They notably played together on Aretha Franklin’s 1970 LP This Girl’s In Love With You, featuring on “It Ain’t Fair” and on the Queen of Soul's version of The Band’s “The Weight,” Allman on slide and steel guitar and Curtis on tenor saxophone. The pair also worked together on four tracks on Curtis’ 1969 album Instant Groove, again including “The Weight” and a version of Joe South’s “Games People Play.”

Kindred Texans

Both artists were Southerners, Curtis from Texas and Allman from Florida, and were indeed kindred spirits in their open-minded attitude to music and collaboration. Sadly they also shared tragedy, dying within two months each other in 1971 at the height of their musical powers, Curtis at 37 years of age from a stabbing incident and Allman (who attended his friend’s funeral) at just 24, in a motorcycle crash.

Beatty and Hoover will discuss the lasting musical legacy of the two men, their collaborations in the studio and on stage, and will choose recordings to emphasise the genius of each artist.

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