Memphis “Eddie” Curtis scores and other material
Alternate name: “Tex” Curtis
Papers, dated 1954–1983, consisting chiefly of manuscript lead sheets of Curtis's original compositions, manuscript scores and parts, and other materials relating to his musical career.
Donated by Joseph Lewis, March 2001.
Eddie Curtis (a.k.a., Memphis E. Curtis) was a composer, arranger, and singer who was born in Galveston, Texas, on July 17, 1927. He became interested in music at an early age, and by the age of 15, had led his own band. He received his education at the Boston Conservatory of Music, the Berklee School of Music, and UCLA and took private music instruction at Pepperdine University. Curtis composed hundreds of songs, including the R&B hits “Lovey Dovey” (recorded by the Clovers and other artists) and “It Should've Been Me” (made famous by Ray Charles). He also wrote several songs that were recorded by Connie Francis. Curtis died of prostate cancer on August 22, 1983, in New York.
The collection primarily consists of Curtis's original compositions. The majority of these are manuscript lead sheets, although there are also a number of manuscript scores and parts. These lead sheets, scores, and parts make up the first three boxes of the collection. The materials in Box 4 include music from Curtis's musical comedy “This Is the Day!!” songs from “The Folk Album,” and a financial proposal for a musical comedy entitled “Ever Since Eve!!” Box 4 also includes a publicity photograph of Curtis and a 12-inch 45-rpm record of his “The Oreo Cookie Gang!!”