Flashing - Jimi Hendrix Plays Curtis Knight Sings (1968)

Curtis Knight (b. Curtis McNear, 1945 - 29 November 1999) was an American music artist and band leader who is famously known for his connection to Jimi Hendrix. Knight was an artist in the 1960s Harlem music scene, usually fronting his own band "the Squires". This band gigged in clubs in New York City, and other surrounding areas. It was through Knight that Hendrix got involved with Ed Chalpin, a record producer who signed the future superstar to a contract which Hendrix soon forgot about and left for England to form "The Jimi Hendrix Experience".

Both Knight and Chalpin would later claim that they were trying to make Hendrix a "star", but Chalpin had him sign a contract that gave Hendrix only 1% of any royalties that his recordings earned. Meanwhile, Chas Chandler actually "discovered" him, while fronting his first band "the Blue Flames" in Greenwich Village. It was only after Chalpin read music trade papers that he realized that Hendrix had made it successfully across the Atlantic in the "Psychedelic" and "Flower Power" period, and began to pursue legal action against Hendrix, his management and record companies, with Knight as his main witness.

During the legal battles, Chalpin released some of his Hendrix records:

* Ballad of Jimi
* Don’t Accuse Me
* Drivin’ South
* Flashing
* Future Trip
* Get That Feeling
* Gloomy Monday
* Happy Birthday
* Hornet’s Nest
* How Would You Feel
* Hush Now
* No Business
* Odd Ball
* Simon Says
* Strange Things
* Welcome Home
* You Don’t Want Me

All were released with pictures of Hendrix that were post-Squires, and stated that Knight played a big part in Hendrix's style.

During the 1970s, after Hendrix's demise, Knight moved to London, England where he formed the group "Curtis Knight, Zeus", and toured throughout Europe, relying on his "Hendrix" connection for many years. Among the musicians enlisted was "Fast" Eddie Clark who went on to fame as part of the line up which made Motörhead famous on such records as "Bomber" and "Ace of Spades" during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Knight was also a competitive table tennis player who played in some local tournaments while living in New York.

1 comment:

Kathy Knight-McConnell said...

There is a new biography of Curtis Knight just released titled Curtis Knight Living In The Shadow Of Jimi Hendrix http://www.publishamerica.net/product91209.html