Composer, Songwriter Curtis Mayfield Dead At 57

Sunday, December 26th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Composer and songwriter Curtis Mayfield, whose string of 1960s hits "People Get Ready," "Talking About My Baby," "Keep On Pushing," place him among America's music legends, has died. He was 57.

Warner Bros. Records spokeswoman Karen Lee announced the death Sunday. A nurse at the North Fulton Regional Hospital in Roswell, Ga., confirmed that Mayfield died there Sunday morning. Other details about his death were not immediately available.

Mayfield was too ill to attend a March ceremony in which he was inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He became a Grammy Legend Award winner in 1994 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner the next year. Mayfield was paralyzed in a 1990 accident in which he was struck by a rig that toppled while he was on stage performing in Brooklyn.

Born in Chicago on June 3, 1942, Mayfield's distinctive tenor voice was developed with his pre-teen band, The Alpha tones. In1956, he joined church choir member Jerry Butler, brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks, and Sam Gooden in a new group, The Roosters. In 1958, The Roosters were renamed The Impressions and recorded "For Your Precious Love," which was No. 11 in the United States. Although Butler left the group, Mayfield continued with a string of hits including, "He Will Break Your Heart," "Need To Belong To Someone," and "Find Yourself Another Girl." ABC Paramount Records later gave The Impressions a recording contract and the group followed with a Top 20 hit, "Gypsy Woman, "which was followed by many others.