|Born||October 11, 1929|
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Died||June 5, 2002(aged 72)|
Amy was born in Houston, Texas. He learned how to play clarinet before joining the Army, and during his time in service, picked up the tenor saxophone. After his discharge, he attended and graduated from Kentucky State College. He worked as an educator in Tennessee while playing in midwestern jazz clubs. In the mid-1950s he relocated to Los Angeles and signed with Pacific Jazz Records, often playing with organist Paul Bryant. In the mid-60s he spent three years as musical director of Ray Charles' orchestra, together with his wife, Merry Clayton and Steve Huffsteter.
As well as leading his own bands and recording albums under his own name, Amy also did session work and played the solos on several recordings, including The Doors song "Touch Me", Carole King's Tapestry, and Lou Rawls' first albums, Black and Blue and Tobacco Road, coinciding with Dexter Gordon in the Onzy Matthews big band, as well as working with Marvin Gaye, Tammy Terrell and Smokey Robinson.
- 1960: The Blues Message (Pacific Jazz) [also released as This Is The Blues (Kimberly, 1963)] CD reissue: Fresh Sound, 2010 – with Paul Bryant
- 1961: Groovin' Blue (Pacific Jazz) – with Frank Butler
- 1961: Meetin' Here (Pacific Jazz) CD reissue: Fresh Sound, 2013 – with Paul Bryant
- 1962: Way Down (Pacific Jazz) – with Victor Feldman
- 1962: Tippin' on Through (Recorded Live at the Lighthouse) (Pacific Jazz) – with Roy Ayers
- 1963: Katanga! (Pacific Jazz) – with Dupree Bolton
- 1965: The Sounds of Broadway / The Sounds of Hollywood (Palomar)
- 1967: Mustang (Verve)
- 1969: "Touch Me" – The Doors (Elektra)
- 1994: Peace For Love (Fresh Sound)
- 2018: Four Classic Albums: Curtis Amy (Avid Jazz) 2-CD; reissues The Blues Message, Groovin' Blue, Meetin' Here, Way Down
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Carole King
With Lou Rawls
- Black and Blue (Capitol, 1963)
- Tobacco Road (Capitol, 1963)
With Gerald Wilson