Help Purple Current honor the legacy of Curtis Mayfield


Purple Curtis Mayfield
American musician Curtis Mayfield (1942 - 1999) plays his electric guitar, early 1972. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

I've been working up a list of artists I refer to as Purple Yodas (this is both a nod to Prince's self-reference as the Purple Yoda and also to the amazing Rolling Stone article from 2000 that Touré wrote about D'Angelo and Questlove's studious analysis of the artists they call yodas: James Brown, Fela, Joni and others.

Curtis Mayfield is 100% Purple Yoda material and June 3, 2018, marks 76 years from Curtis Mayfield's birth. He's an undisputed master of songwriting and he was also one of the first black musicians to have his business affairs largely under his control for his golden period of creativity. It's so empowering to read about Mayfield owning his own label and getting the sense that his home base at 1 North Wacker Drive in Chicago was in many ways the Paisley Park of its time.

So to honor Curtis Mayfield, we want to put together a playlist of his top ten ultimate songs and play them on Purple Current throughout the day on Sunday, June 3. But, this list is going to be a lot better with the input of Purple Current listeners. Please vote for your favorite from the list below (and feel free to mount a write-in campaign if your favorite is missing).

Secondly, if you want to share an audio take on what makes a particular Curtis song great, send it to me at! Please keep it under 45 seconds and mention your name and that you're a Purple Current listener in the message.

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