The Curtis Mayfield Story
Written by Wanda Carter, Publisher or Chicago Communicator News Media, and Producer of Omnibus Roundtable TV Show, and Woman 2 Woman TV Show
The Curtis Mayfield Story was written by the lovely, very talented Jackie Taylor, Founder of the Black Ensemble Theater and Co-Director of this wonderful rendition of skills Mayfield displayed through the lyrics he wrote for countless other brilliant entertainers. Co-Director, Daryl Brooks worked with Taylor to bring forth the detailed depiction of Mayfield lives journey in two very distinct periods in his life, once as a young vibrant head strong, self-directed artist, played by Cecil Jones, then later as an elder who became the wise, innovative adviser, played by Reginald E. Torian, Sr.
In his later years, Mayfield a wheel chair bound hero, was the man, the all-knowing guru of music and talent. David Simmons did a nice depiction of the older Jerry Butler, as Lawrence Williams played and reflected him in his youth (Taylor, 2013).
The play was a dramatization of Curtis Lee Mayfield’s artistic approach to singing, writing music, and producing real life portrayals of so many African American’s social and improvised life styles. He was a multi-instrumentalists who played the drums, bass, guitar, piano, saxophone, and functioned as a catalyst for the political culture that people like Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X embodied as each in his own way, created movements that brought about social changes (Wikipedia, 2014).
The dramatization reflected on many of Mayfield’s life experiences from forming the Roosters with Arthur and Richard Brooks, Fred Cash, Jerry Butler, and later Sam Gooden who became the mighty Impressions. Mayfield’s progression included owning the Mayfield, Windy C, and Curtom Records labels. Mayfield did numerous soundtracks to include films like Superfly, Claudine, Let’s Do It Again, and Sparkle. He was one of Chicago’s most talented writers, producers, arranger and businessmen. By the time Mayfield met and partnered with Marv Stuart Hyman he was well on his way to bigger and greater experiences. (Hyman, n.d).
The production was designed to highlight key points in Mayfield’s life and showed why he was loved by so many around the world. If you have not seen the Curtis Mayfield play, do not delay any further. The actors and actresses are talented young men and women sure to aspire to greater heights in their careers. So go learn why Mayfield won the Grammy Legend Award (in 1994) and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (in 1995). He was a double inductee into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Impressions, and later in 1991 as a solo artist (Wikipedia, 2014). The man was truly a musical genius and a legend in his own time.