Curtom Records – started by Curtis Mayfield in 1968
Curtom Records was started byCurtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas – Eddie Thomas had been the manager of the Impressions.
FROM RHINO PRESS RELEASE..
RHINO GETS READY FOR CURTIS MAYFIELD CATALOG
Premier Reissue Label Acquires Exclusive North American Rights to Curtom Catalog Featuring Mayfield, Impressions, and More
LOS ANGELES — In a strategic move to bolster its already impressive urban music catalog, Rhino Records has purchased the Curtom masters from Curtis Mayfield for North America, it was announced today by Rhino President Richard Foos.
The influential R&B artist’s Curtom Classics, Inc. catalog includes master recordings by Mayfield; tracks from his years with legendary R&B group The Impressions; and performances by other Curtom artists such as Linda Clifford, Leroy Hutson, Natural Four, Fred Wesley, Ava Cherry, and The Notations.
The catalog includes performances by Mayfield from 10 of his solo albums between 1972 and 1990, including the Grammyreg.-nominated “Superfly,” “Freddie’s Dead,” and “Junkie Chase” from the Superfly (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album.
Rhino has also secured a license from Warner Special Products for additional Curtom master recordings owned by Warner Bros. Records, giving Rhino access to more than 400 tracks.
In 1996, Rhino Records released People Get Ready! The Curtis Mayfield Story, a 51-track anthology featuring the best of Mayfield’s most brilliantly written and performed songs. As the three-CD box set’s liner notes state so succinctly, “Mayfield is a true icon within the realms of African-American culture, an American original, a modern griot who has made an immeasurable global impact on the contemporary music of close to four decades.”
“Curtis Mayfield is a true pioneer, both lyrically and musically,” says Foos. “As comprehensive a statement about his career as the People Get Ready project is, there is such depth and breadth to his music that we are anxious to create even more releases from his highly influential body of work.”
Says Mayfield: “I believed that in order to market our old masters to the entire marketplace including this year being the 25th anniversary of my Superfly album, we needed the expertise and commitment that Richard Foos and Rhino offered us. After experiencing how Rhino marketed my three-CD box set People Get Ready, I felt at home with Rhino.”
Born June 3, 1942, in Chicago, Mayfield began singing by age seven. A self-taught guitarist, he was inspired by his mother’s love of poetry and began developing his songwriting skills. In 1957, singer Jerry Butler invited a then 16-year-old Mayfield to join The Roosters, for whom Curtis wrote and composed music. Six months later the group was renamed The Impressions and a year after that, they hit the charts with “For Your Precious Love” and Mayfield’s professional career began in earnest.
By 1968, The Impressions had produced a run of more than 18 charted singles that positioned the group as one of the most popular R&B acts of the ’60s. Mayfield also established himself as a hit-maker for other Chicago-based acts and in 1970, he launched both Curtom Records and a solo career, beginning a new chapter in the Mayfield story.
Mayfield’s messages of social consciousness struck a chord with the African-American community who embraced his themes of romance, politics, and peace set against an organic, groove-laden backdrop of funky wah-wah-guitar, heavily percussive rhythms, and swirling strings.
Superstardom found Mayfield in 1972 when he scored and performed the music to the Superfly soundtrack, which went on to sell more than one million copies and receive four Grammy nominations. More than 20 years later, it is still considered one of contemporary black music’s most significant recordings.
Through the ’70s and ’80s, Mayfield continued to record new solo albums for Curtom, including Give, Get, Take And Have and Never Say You Can’t Survive; achieve chart success with tracks such as “Love Me, Love Me Now” and “Tripping Out” and the Linda Clifford duet “Between You Baby And Me”; produce artists such as Gladys Knight & The Pips, Aretha Franklin, and The Staple Singers; and tour in America, Europe, and Japan. In 1989 Mayfield contributed to two soundtracks and released the Curtom album Take It To The Streets, which featured the standout tracks “Homeless” and “Do Be Down.”
A life-changing tragedy struck in August 1990. While Mayfield performed onstage at an outdoor concert in Brooklyn, high winds dislodged an overhead lighting rig, which collapsed on him. The damage to his spine left Mayfield a quadriplegic, though he has continued to write and record. His most recent album is New World Order (Warner Bros., 1996). Today, the prolific artist lives in Atlanta with his wife and family.
For additional information, please contact Rhino Media Relations.
Custom Records Custom Records*
Curtom Album Discography
By Patrice Eyries, David Edwards, and Mike Callahan
Last update: June 1, 2003
Curtom was formed by Curtis Mayfield after he left the Impressions for a solo career. The Curtom releases were exclusively of the soul records genre, mostly produced by Curtis Mayfield or with a great connection either to him or to the Impressions. The first Curtis Mayfield albums released on this label are absolute soul gems. The distribution was first by Buddah Records, but in 1973, Curtom switched its distribution to Warner, then RSO. After the RSO deal ended, Curtom made some independent deals with Capitol Records and Boardwalk Records for some of their artists. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Curtom was briefly reactivated through Ichiban Records, after which the entire catalog was sold to Rhino Records.
The label for the Buddah distributed series is yellow and orange with a red stylized “CURTOM” across a red and blue sun at the top of the label, and the sentence “WE’RE A WINNER” written in black letters under the Curtom logo. The following text is written in black lettering in the form of an arc at the bottom of the label: “EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED BY BUDDAH RECORDS – 1650 BROADWAY N.Y.C.” with a small Buddah logo (i.e., the famous “Shiva” statue) first between the words “Records” and “1650,” then between the words “Buddah” and “Records” when the address moved to “810 7TH AVE. N.Y.C. 10019.” For the 8600 series, this text changed to a lower case lettering.
When the distribution switched to Warner, the label remained mostly yellow, but the top half changed to a multicolored background with a yellow “CURTOM”. The text changed as well to “CURTOM RECORDS INC., MANUFACTURED AND DISTRIBUTED BY WARNER BROS. RECORDS INC.”
For the last two series, the distribution switched, first to Ichiban and then to Arista (which were mostly reissues).
As far as we know, all releases were stereo only. The track listing below is given in playing sequence whenever this information was available. For the albums whose catalog numbers are marked with an asterisk (*), the songs are given in alphabetical order because the exact playing order was not known to us. We would appreciate this information from anyone who has it.
We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Curtom Records. Should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 2000 by Mike Callahan.
CURTOM ALBUM DISCOGRAPHY
Number – Title – Artist [Release Date] (Chart) Contents
8000 series (Distributed by Buddah):
CRS 8001 – This Is My Country – Impressions  (12-68, #107) They Don’t Know/Stay Close To Me/I’m Loving Nothing/Loves Happening/Gone Away//You Want Somebody Else/So Unusual/My Woman’s Love/Fool For You/This Is My Country
*CRS 8002 – Love’s Happening – 5 Stairsteps & Cubie  (4-69, #198) Baby, Make Me Feel So Good/Don’t Change Your Love/I’m The One Who Loves You/I Made A Mistake/Little Boy Blue/Little Young Lover/Love’s Happening/New Dance Craze/Stay Close To Me/Your Love Has Changed
*CRS 8003 – The Young Mod’s Forgotten Story – Impressions  (5-69, #1040 Choice Of Colors/Girl I Find/Jealous Man/Love’s Miracle/Mighty Mighty (Spade And Whitey)/My Deceiving Heart/Seven Years/Soulful Love/Wherever You Leadeth Me/Young Mod’s Forgotten Story
CRS 8004 – The Best Impressions: Curtis, Sam and Fred – Impressions  The track lineup given on the back of the record jacket is incorrect. The correct playing order is given here. The Impressions hits from the ABC-Paramount days are remakes on this album. Gypsy Woman (S, remake)/Keep On Pushin’ (S, remake)/I’m So Proud (S, remake)/Say You Love Me (S)/I’ve Been Trying (S, remake)/Amen (S, remake)//Choice Of Colors (S)/Fool For You (S)/Wherever You Leadeth Me (S)/Mighty Mighty Spade And Whitey (S)/Gone Away (S)/This Is My Country (S)
*CRS 8005 – Curtis – Curtis Mayfield  (10-70, #19) (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below We’re All Going To Go/Give It Up/Miss Black America/Move On Up/The Makings Of You/The Other Side Of Town/We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue/Wild And Free
CRS 8006 – Check Out Your Mind! – Impressions 
CRS 8007 – The Baby Huey Story/The Living Legend – Baby Huey  Baby Huey and the Babysitters were legendary nightclub performers during the 1960s in the Chicago area. Listen To Me/Mama Get Yourself Together/A Change Is Going To Come//Mighty, Mighty/Hard Times/California Dreamin’/Running/One Dragon Two Dragon
*CRS 8008 – Curtis/Live! – Curtis Mayfield  (5-71, #21) (2-LP set) Check Out Your Mind/(Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below We’re All Going To Go/Gypsy Woman/I Plan To Stay A Believer/Mighty Mighty (Spade And Whitey)/People Get Ready/Stare And Stare/Stone Junkie/The Makings Of You/We’re A Winner/We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue/We’ve Only Just Begun
CRS 8009 – Roots – Curtis Mayfield  (11-71, #40) Get Down/Keep On Keeping On/Underground/We Got To Have Peace//Beautiful Brother Of Mine/Now You’re Gone/Love To Keep You In My Mind
CRS 8010 –
CRS 8011 – Ruby Jones – Ruby Jones 
*CRS 8012 – Times Have Changed – Impressions  (4-72, #192) I Need To Belong To Someone/Inner City Blues/Love Me/Our Love Goes On And On/Potent Love/Stop The War/This Love’s For Real/Times Have Changed
CRS 8013 –
CRS 8014ST – Superfly (Soundtrack) – Curtis Mayfield  (8-72, #1) Little Child Runnin Wild/Pusherman/Freddie’s Dead/Junkie Chase (Instrumental)/Give Me Your Love (Love Song)/Eddie You Should Know Better/No Thing On Me (Cocaine Song)/Think (Instrumental)/Superfly
CRS 8015 – Back to the World – Curtis Mayfield  (6-73, #16) Back To The World/Future Shock/Right On For The Darkness//If I Were Only A Child Again/Can’t Say Nothin’/Keep On Trippin’/Future Song (Love A Good Woman, Love A Good Man)
*CRS 8016 – Preacher Man – Impressions  Color Us All Gray (I’m Lost)/Find The Way/I’m Loving You/Preacher Man/Simple Message/Thin Line/What It Is
CRS 8017 – Love Oh Love – Leroy Hutson  So In Love With You/Love Oh Love/When You Smile/Getting It On/Time Brings On A Change/I’ll Be There I’ll Still Care/I’m In Love With You Girl/As Long As There’s Love Around
*CRS 8018 – Curtis in Chicago – Curtis Mayfield  (11-73, #135) Amen/Duke Of Earl – Gene Chandler/For Your Precious Love/I’m So Proud/If I Were Only A Child Again/Love Oh Love – Leroy Hutson/Once In My Life – The Impressions/Preacher Man – The Impressions/Superfly
CRS 8019 – Finally Got Myself Together – Impressions  (7-74, #176) If It’s In You To Do Wrong/I’m A Changed Man (Finally Got Myself Together)/I’ll Always Be Here/Miracle Woman//We Go Back A Ways/Guess What I Got/Try Me (One More Time)/Don’t Forget What I Told You
CRS 8020 – The Man – Leroy Hutson  Can’t Say Enough About Mom/Gotta Move – Gotta Groove/Ella Weez/Give This Love A Try//The Ghetto ’74/After THe Fight/Could This Be Love/Dudley Do-Right
8600 series (Distributed by Buddah):
CRS 8600 – Natural Four – Natural Four  Can This Be Real/You Bring Out The Best In Me/Try Love Again/You Can’t Keep Running Away//This Is What’s Happening Now/Love That Really Counts/Try To Smile/Love’s Society/Things Will Be Better Tomorrow
CRS 8601 – Sweet Exorcist – Curtis Mayfield  (5-74, #39) Ain’t Got Time/Sweet Exorcist/To Be Invisible/Power To The People//Kung Fu/Suffer/Make Me Believe In You
*CRS 8602 – Three the Hard Way – Impressions  Having A Ball/Make A Resolution/Mister Keyes/On The Move/Something’s Mighty, Mighty Wrong/That’s What Love Will Do/Three The Hard Way (Chase And Theme)/Wendy
CRS 8603 –
*CRS 8604 – Got to Find a Way – Curtis Mayfield  (11-74, #76) A Prayer/Ain’t No Love Lost/Cannot Find A Way/Love Me (Right In The Pocket)/Mother’s Son/So You Don’t Love Me
5000 series (Distributed by Warner Brothers):
*CU 5001 – There’s No Place Like America Today – Curtis Mayfield  (6-75, #120) Billy Jack/Blue Monday People/Hard Times/Jesus/Love To The People/So In Love/When Seasons Change
CU 5002 – Hutson – Leroy Hutson  All Because Of You/others
CU 5003 – First Impressions – Impressions  (8-75, #115) Sooner Or Later/Same Thing It Took/Old Before My Time/First Impressions//Groove/I’m So Glad/How High Is High/Why Must A Love Song Be A Sad Song
*CU 5004 – Heaven Right Here on Earth – Natural Four  (5-75, #182) Baby Come On/Count On Me/Give This Love A Try/Heaven Right Here On Earth/Love’s So Wonderful/What Do You Do/What’s Happening Here/While You’re Away
CU 5005 – Let’s Do It Again (Soundtrack) – Staple Singers  (11-75, #20) Let’s Do It Again/Funky Love/A Whole Lot Of Love/New Orleans//I Want To Thank You/Big Mac/After Sex/Chase
CU 5006 – Now – Ed Townsend  If You Can’t Take Me Higher/Maybe I’ll Bump/I’m With You/How Could You Do It//Where Did Those Signs Go/The Moving Finger Writes/Got A New Lease (On Life)/This Too Shall Pass
CU 5007 – Give, Get, Take And Have – Curtis Mayfield  (7-76, #171) In Your Arms Again (Shake It)/This Love Is Sweet/P.S. I Love You/Party Night//Get A Little Bit (Give, Get, Take And Have)/Soul Music/Only You Babe/Mr. Welfare Man
CU 5008 – Nightchaser – Natural Four 
CU 5009 – Loving Power – Impressions  (3-76, #195) Loving Power/Sunshine/I Can’t Wait To See You/If You Have To Ask//You Can’t Be Wrong (All The Time)/I Wish I’d Stayed In Bed/Keep On Trying
*CU 5010 – Feel the Spirit – Leroy Hutson  (3-76, #170) Butterfat/Don’t Let It Get Next To You/Feel The Spirit (’76)/It’s The Music/Let’s Be Lonely Together/Lover’s Holiday/Never Know What You Can Do (Give It A Try)
CU 5011 – Hutson II – Leroy Hutson 
CU 5012 – Mystique – Mystique 
CU 5013 – Never Say You Can’t Survive – Curtis Mayfield  (3-77, #173) Show Me Love/Just Want To Be With You/When We’re Alone/Never Say You Can’t Survive//I’m Gonna Win Your Love/All Night Long/When You Used To Be Mine/Sparkle
CU 5015 –
CU 5016 – Linda – Linda Clifford  From Now On/Be Tender With My Love/You Can Do It/You Gotta Tell Her/One Thing On My Mind//Tonight’s The Night/Only Fooling Myself/Still In Love With You/If It’s Magic
*CU 5017 – Short Eyes – Curtis Mayfield  A Heavy Dupe/Another Fool In Love/Back Against The Wall/Break It Down/Do Do Wap Is Strong In Here/Father Confessor/Need Someone To Love/Short Eyes
CU 5018 – Closer to the Source – Leroy Hutson 
CU 5019 – A Piece Of the Action – Mavis Staples  Chocolate City/Of Whom Shall Be Afraid/Orientation/A Piece Of The Action/Good Lovin’ Daddy/’Til Blossoms Bloom/Koochie, Koochie, Koochie/Getting Deeper (Instrumental)
CU 5020 – Love Oh Love – Leroy Hutson 
CUK 5021 – If My Friends Could See Me Now – Linda Clifford  (5-78, #22) If My Friends Could See Me Now/You Are, You Are/Runaway Love//Broadway Gypsy Lady/I Feel Like Falling In Love Again/Please Darling, Don’t Say Goodbye/Gypsy Lady
CUK 5022 – Do It All Night – Curtis Mayfield  Do It All Night/No Goodbyes//Party, Party/Keeps Me Loving You/In Love, In Love, In Love/You Are, You Are
2900 series (Distributed by Ichiban):
CUR 2901 – Live in Europe – Curtis Mayfield  (2-LP set) Introduction/Ice-9 (Ice-9 Featuring Henry Gibson)/Back To The World/It’s Alright – Amen//Gypsy Woman/Freddie’s Dead/Pusherman//We’ve Gotta Have Peace/We’ve Only Just Begun/People Get Ready//Move On Up/If There’s A Hell Below/When Seasons Change
CUR 2902 – Greatest Hits of All Time (Classics Collection) – Curtis Mayfield  (2- LP set)
CRC Label 2000 series:
CRC-2001 – We Come in Peace With a Message of Love – Curtis Mayfield 
Curtom label, continuation of CRC label 2000 series:
CUR-2002 – Superfly (Soundtrack) – Curtis Mayfield  Reissue of Curtom CRS 8014 ST)
CUR-2003 – There Is No Place Like America Today – Curtis Mayfield  Reissue of Curtom 5001.
CUR-2005 – Something to Believe In – Curtis Mayfield  Reissue of RSO 3077.
CUR-2007 – Greatest Hits – Linda Clifford 
*CUR-2008 – Take It to the Street – Curtis Mayfield  Do Be Down/Don’t Push/Got To Be Real/He’s A Fly Guy/Homeless/I Mo Git U Sucka/On And On/Who Was That Lady
Eddie Thomas Biography
Born on November 5, 1931, Eddie Thomas was destined to succeed. In 1957, while attending a local talent show at the Washburne Trade School in Chicago, he met and was asked to manage two vocal groups, The Medallionaires and The Roosters. Moved by their unique sound, Thomas convinced members of The Roosters to change their name to The Impressions and the group’s career skyrocketed with the release of their first single, “For Your Precious Love.”
Thomas would also find another great talent in the person of Curtis Mayfield, with whom he enjoyed a long association. Together they formed Curtom Records and produced many hit records, including “Keep on Pushing,” “Amen” and “It’s All Right.” The multitalented Thomas continued to produce new artists and shepherded groups, such as The Independents, to fame. Their first release, “Leaving Me,” sold more than 1 million records.
In the mid-1970s, he created Thomas Associates, a successful record promotion business whose elite list of clients included Ray Charles, Barry White, Quincy Jones, the Stylistics and Johnny Taylor. Later, he formed A-1 Creative Productions company, which produced the video and wrote the theme song for the 1987 NFL World Champion New York Giants. In 1990, Thomas was bestowed broadcasting’s highest honor, the prestigious James Foster Peabody Award, for his role in the music documentary, The Rise and Fall of Vee-Jay Records.