Song Of The Day 1/20/2016: Curtis – “How Can I Tell Her”

Disco Doubt – Curtis L. Anderson, who passed away just under five months ago at age 61, was a lifelong radio professional in the Baltimore area. He went to work at age 16 at WEBB, which was owned by James Brown. The station had to ask Anderson's mother for permission to work. Reportedly he was one of Brown's favorite DJs. He later became program director at a competing station, until his radio career was cut short in 1986 by throat nodules.

But Armstrong, like the bevy of DJ's who sought careers as recording artists (who, fair warning, we'll be featuring next week), put out a few singles in 1979 to try and break into that part of the hospitality tent. For his records he went by the name "Curtis." A fairly blue-collar moniker to get the one-word-name treatment, but that's what the times dictated. Unlike many of his fellow DJ's attempts to make musical gold, Curtis' "How Can I Tell Her," on the Charm City label, was actually a good tune. There are so many details I like about this one. In particular, the snare drum appears to go a little haywire in the final quarter of each chorus; I have no idea what in the world he was trying to do. It's disco, not a military procession. But it works. I don't know how, but it works. 

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