Curtis Ousley (February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971), who performed under the name King Curtis, was an American tenor, alto, and soprano saxophonist who played rhythm and blues, soul, rock, and soul jazz. Curtis was born in Fort Worth, Texas. During the 1950s and early to mid 1960s he both worked as a session player on such records as Yakety Yak
and recorded his own singles. His best known singles from this period are "Soul Twist" (Enjoy) and "Soul Serenade" (Capitol). In 1965 he moved to Atlantic Records, where his most successful singles were "Memphis Soul Stew" and "Ode to Billie Joe.