Curtis Ousley (February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971), who performed under the stage name King Curtis, was an American saxophonist known for rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, blues, funk and soul jazz. Variously a bandleader, band member, and session musician, he was also a musical director and record producer. Adept at tenor, alto, and soprano saxophone, he was best known for his distinctive riffs and solos such as on “Yakety Yak“, which later became the inspiration for Boots Randolph‘s “Yakety Sax” and his own “Memphis Soul Stew”.
The son of Ethel Montgomery, he was born Curtis Montgomery in Fort Worth, Texas, and was adopted, with his sister Josephine Allen, by Josie and William Ousley. Curtis Ousley attended I.M. Terrell High School, and studied and performed music with schoolmate Ornette Coleman.