It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.


If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.


Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora One subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora One trial will expire shortly.
Restore
Close
close
Your Pandora One trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora One.
More Info
No Thanks
Close
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
-0:00
0:00
Change Skin

We created Pandora to put the Music Genome Project directly in your hands

It’s a new kind of radio –
stations that play only music you like

 
Create an account for free. Register
Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Curtis Mayfield

Perhaps because he didn't cross over to the pop audience as heavily as Motown's stars, it may be that the scope of Curtis Mayfield's talents and contributions have yet to be fully recognized. Judged merely by his records alone, the man's legacy is enormous. As the leader of the Impressions, he recorded some of the finest soul vocal group music of the 1960s. As a solo artist in the 1970s, he helped pioneer funk and helped introduce hard-hitting urban commentary into soul music. "Gypsy Woman," "It's All Right," "People Get Ready," "Freddie's Dead," and "Super Fly" are merely the most famous of his many hit records.

But Curtis Mayfield wasn't just a singer. He wrote most of his material at a time when that was not the norm for soul performers. He was among the first -- if not the very first -- to speak openly about African-American pride and community struggle in his compositions. As a songwriter and a producer, he was a key architect of Chicago soul, penning material and working on sessions by notable Windy City soulsters like Gene Chandler, Jerry Butler, Major Lance, and Billy Butler. In this sense, he can be compared to Smokey Robinson, who also managed to find time to write and produce many classics for other soul stars. Mayfield was also an excellent guitarist, and his rolling, Latin-influenced lines were highlights of the Impressions' recordings in the '60s. During the next decade, he would toughen up his guitar work and production, incorporating some of the best features of psychedelic rock and funk.

Mayfield began his career as an associate of Jerry Butler, with whom he formed the Impressions in the late '50s. After the Impressions had a big hit in 1958 with "For Your Precious Love," Butler, who had sung lead on the record, split to start a solo career. Mayfield, while keeping the Impressions together, continued to write for and tour with Butler before the Impressions got their first Top 20 hit in 1961, "Gypsy Woman."

Mayfield was heavily steeped in gospel music before he entered the pop arena, and gospel, as well as doo wop, influences would figure prominently in most of his '60s work. Mayfield wasn't a staunch traditionalist, however. He and the Impressions may have often worked the call-and-response gospel style, but his songs (romantic and otherwise) were often veiled or unveiled messages of black pride, reflecting the increased confidence and self-determination of the African-American community. Musically he was an innovator as well, using arrangements that employed the punchy, blaring horns and Latin-influenced rhythms that came to be trademark flourishes of Chicago soul. As the staff producer for the OKeh label, Mayfield was also instrumental in lending his talents to the work of other Chi-town soul singers who went on to national success. With Mayfield singing lead and playing guitar, the Impressions had 14 Top 40 hits in the 1960s (five made the Top 20 in 1964 alone), and released some above-average albums during that period as well.

Given Mayfield's prodigious talents, it was perhaps inevitable that he would eventually leave the Impressions to begin a solo career, as he did in 1970. His first few singles boasted a harder, more funk-driven sound; singles like "(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Gonna Go" found him confronting ghetto life with a realism that had rarely been heard on record. He really didn't hit his artistic or commercial stride as a solo artist, though, until Super Fly, his soundtrack to a 1972 blaxploitation film. Drug deals, ghetto shootings, the death of young black men before their time: all were described in penetrating detail. Yet Mayfield's irrepressible falsetto vocals, uplifting melodies, and fabulous funk pop arrangements gave the oft-moralizing material a graceful strength that few others could have achieved. For all the glory of his past work, Superfly stands as his crowning achievement, not to mention a much-needed counterpoint to the sensationalistic portrayals of the film itself.

At this point Mayfield, along with Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye, was the foremost exponent of a new level of compelling auteurism in soul. His failure to maintain the standards of Super Fly qualifies as one of the great disappointments in the history of black popular music. Perhaps he'd simply reached his peak after a long climb, but the rest of his '70s work didn't match the musical brilliance and lyrical subtleties of Super Fly, although he had a few large R&B hits in a much more conventional vein, such as "Kung Fu," "So in Love," and "Only You Babe."

Mayfield had a couple of hits in the early '80s, but the decade generally found his commercial fortunes in a steady downward spiral, despite some intermittent albums. On August 14, 1990, he became paralyzed from the neck down when a lighting rig fell on top of him at a concert in Brooklyn, NY. In the mid-'90s, a couple of tribute albums consisting of Mayfield covers appeared, with contributions by such superstars as Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen, and Gladys Knight. Though no substitute for the man himself, these tributes served as an indication of the enormous regard in which Mayfield was still held by his peers. He died December 26, 1999 at the age of 57. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Report as inappropriate
One of the all-time greats. My impression is that he doesn't get proper credit for his talent and influence.
Report as inappropriate
One of the great.now this is old school
Report as inappropriate
This song takes me back to my teen years straight up having fun the good old days
Report as inappropriate
Mm,Mm,Mm! Now that's pimpin!
Report as inappropriate
All ways the man
Report as inappropriate
My n**ga!
#CurtisMusic W i l l L i v e F o r e v e r !
R.I.P. PLAYA!��
Report as inappropriate
The Best
Report as inappropriate
Great singer unrated
Report as inappropriate
DON'T WORRY!!!!!!
Report as inappropriate
This Cat put it out there like no other
Report as inappropriate
Its the man you stole those keys froommm
Report as inappropriate
Curtis Mayfield was the Real Deal HolyField For real!!!☺️
Report as inappropriate
I sure that Curtis was still here to keep making that wonderful music that he did oh so well
Report as inappropriate
Baddddddd
Report as inappropriate
annvaughn79
I love this song... Takes me back
Report as inappropriate
annvaughn79
I love this station... It helps me with peace
Report as inappropriate
felipeavina6 6
F**k that
Report as inappropriate
The real "O G", the musical poet, master of song writing, composer of soulful lyrics, the best at what he did, a true Giant of the industry
Report as inappropriate
Super Fly great movie and music score...love the 70's
Report as inappropriate
James Brown is the Godfather of Soul & Bootsy Collins is the Godfather Of Funk!!!!!!!! ! ! !
Report as inappropriate
Love you allways
Soul man
Report as inappropriate
perryd332
Curtis Mayfield
Report as inappropriate
I love you Curtis
Report as inappropriate
ttbug07
I love me some Curtis! Real music!
Report as inappropriate
My mannn !!!! Omg curtis u the man
Report as inappropriate
Lol superfly an friday dam
Report as inappropriate
We people blacker than blue...stand in our glory,magnif i c a n t !
Report as inappropriate
The brother and sisters, of the this time have left us such a rich history and so much to learn from this music is so profound that today their still on top of their game and will always be, and thats for real?
Report as inappropriate
new world order, brand new day!!!
Report as inappropriate
The music of Curtis Mayfield was a huge part of my childhood. His songs were a national anthem among African Americans during a often turbulent time in the revolutionar y days of the 60s and 70s.
Report as inappropriate
Yep, 6th grade when we first heard that Freddie was dead!! Picked up the bass and never put it down since that day in 72. Mayfield is still the bomb!!
Report as inappropriate
Musical God,one of the greatest of lyrical writers of all time. I have truly enjoyed l his work !!! He is truly missed. Dale Mason
Report as inappropriate
Oh yesss give me yo love that gangsta s**t
Report as inappropriate
I loved everything Curtis Mayfield EVER DID.
It's easy 2 criticise, but how many critics ever put their actions where their mouths were? Brother Mayfield LIVED & PRACTICED what he believed, even after the tragic accident that left him paralyzed. He
was a REAL man, so far above 2day`s typical swaggering, cursing, booty-bling- m o n e y - e g o - o b s e s s e d gangsta-wann a b e s it's hard 2 realize he was from the same planet!!!!! We need more like him. I will miss him 4EVER....... . .
Report as inappropriate
tbassnc68
Wow my dad use to play Mr.Curtis Mayfield and shine his car up and put soda pop on the tires to make them shine wow talk about back in the days
Report as inappropriate
Rip my lil bro
Report as inappropriate
This man is still relevant today. Listen
Report as inappropriate
Grew up on it, STILL IN MY HEART TODAY!!!!!;- )
Report as inappropriate
jtny786
I miss Curtis Mayfield, beloved but still underrated. Listening to Now You're Gone, the tight instrumental s are out of sight.. Superfly? Fabulous, but that was just a small part of this brother's music. RIP Curtis.
Report as inappropriate
Good play
Report as inappropriate
Love this song.so in love.
Report as inappropriate
can u dig it
Report as inappropriate
I remember the superfly sound track, I was in the 6th grade....... I ' m yo mama, yo daddy, that. .......n¡*** * i n the alley.
Gotta luv it.,.....smi l e
Report as inappropriate
I love Curtis Mayfield music because this back so good memory
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful song
Report as inappropriate
So good!
Report as inappropriate
Get Curtis!! RIP my brotha! Heaven has even sweeter music with you!!!
Report as inappropriate
I can dig it
Report as inappropriate
R.i. P.my. Friend
Report as inappropriate
Oaawwwww .. curts.... me and my daddy love... miss black American. .......
Show more

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email: pandora-support@pandora.com.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[83, 110, 127, 113, 120, 82, 95, 76, 88, 68, 97, 127, 109, 75, 104, 107, 110, 67, 92, 66, 100, 67, 92, 110, 114, 64, 123, 106, 70, 88, 111, 81, 121, 71, 96, 126, 98, 80, 106, 123, 83, 76, 120, 92, 68, 77, 126, 92, 93, 122, 66, 65, 88, 126, 125, 101, 82, 118, 85, 72, 87, 123, 86, 109, 81, 85, 82, 82, 84, 70, 116, 73, 94, 109, 111, 122, 78, 65, 122, 101, 93, 93, 77, 69, 124, 93, 126, 102, 120, 102, 91, 73, 120, 103, 78, 119, 83, 80, 124, 72, 96, 79, 85, 97, 117, 97, 111, 64, 98, 120, 81, 75, 127, 93, 73, 81, 92, 78, 77, 117, 119, 64, 111, 75, 75, 72, 121, 87, 91, 102, 106, 105, 75, 82, 65, 95, 78, 78, 75, 98, 118, 113, 113, 85, 103, 106, 120, 89, 83, 70, 106, 76, 72, 125, 124, 77, 85, 125, 95, 80, 77, 110, 103, 111, 67, 78, 67, 118, 66, 97, 87, 93, 87, 87, 83, 82, 87, 102, 91, 99, 84, 123, 108, 90, 106, 70, 117, 103, 110, 80, 102, 78, 117, 95, 102, 71, 111, 82, 91, 81, 81, 72, 114, 107, 121, 66, 72, 110, 71, 117, 89, 107, 113, 103, 91, 84, 113, 127, 73, 83, 78, 122, 100, 69, 120, 69, 74, 106, 84, 75, 80, 90, 92, 96, 87, 102, 104, 76, 115, 101, 85, 80, 87, 65, 124, 110, 98, 115, 88, 104, 65, 105, 87, 95, 92, 69, 115, 65, 117, 120, 83, 80, 96, 121, 64, 66, 97, 111, 85, 114, 120, 71, 65, 68, 100, 100, 89, 77, 100, 70, 73, 94, 79, 117, 66, 78, 83, 116, 117, 126, 127, 103, 121, 120, 98, 125, 108, 76, 87, 113, 73, 68, 85, 97, 74, 100, 95, 84, 104, 109, 87, 110, 105, 110, 66, 123, 73, 121, 79, 109, 105, 118, 108, 123, 114, 116, 75, 124, 78, 125, 109, 113, 111, 95, 119, 108, 75, 105, 109, 109, 107, 64, 83, 116, 80, 73, 116, 81, 115, 109, 108, 75, 80, 112, 79, 76, 65, 119, 97, 92, 127, 82, 72, 127, 72, 68, 115, 107, 125, 80, 103, 105, 127, 126, 94, 70, 78, 76, 86, 111, 87, 78, 96, 91, 117, 70, 108, 82, 103, 81, 82, 82, 73, 124, 120, 106, 109, 98, 65, 73, 65, 87, 94, 123, 79, 114, 106, 71, 93, 110, 121, 85, 78, 71, 84, 116, 108, 101, 127, 75, 72, 109, 127, 77, 105, 76, 123, 89, 72, 79, 83, 99, 70, 70, 84, 72, 89, 94, 88, 85, 89, 117, 117, 93, 80, 65, 103, 124, 78, 94, 82, 90, 124, 119, 94, 88, 105, 64, 110, 103, 83, 114, 118, 95, 116, 78, 69, 118, 116, 119, 100, 86, 104, 94, 77, 106, 67, 87, 72, 79, 127, 99, 105, 73, 104, 97, 89, 95, 124, 66, 74, 107, 78, 84, 74, 97, 64, 114, 111, 96, 97, 124, 94, 121, 105, 66, 110, 71, 125, 126, 68, 87]