Song Of The Day: John Lennon – “It’s So Hard” (1971)

Let’s take a minute to remember King Curtis, one of the great undersung sax players of all time, who was born on this day in 1934. Curtis was a jazz-quality player but in the mid 1950s decided to devote himself to rhythm and blues and the hot new Rock & Roll records, telling a reporter later that “I love the authentic rhythm and blues more than anything, and I also like to live well.” That’s Curtis blowing hard on the Coasters’ classic “Yakety Yak”. In the mid-1960s he began to record under his own name, and he also led Aretha Franklin’s backing band The Kingpins, who opened up for The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Six years later in 1971 Curtis played on a couple of tracks on John Lennon’s Imagine album, including this memorable bluesy spin. Sadly, Curtis was murdered later that year outside his Manhattan apartment at the tragically young age of 37.


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