|Mont Curtis McNear|
|Born||May 9, 1929|
Fort Scott, Kansas, U.S.
|Died||November 29, 1999 (aged 70)|
Lelystad, Flevoland, Netherlands
|Genres||Rhythm and blues, soul, rock|
|Labels||RSVP, Capitol, London, President|
|Curtis Knight and the Squires, Jimi Hendrix|
Curtis Knight (May 9, 1929 – November 29, 1999), born Mont Curtis McNear, was an American musician who is known for his connection to Jimi Hendrix.
Knight was a singer in the 1960s Harlem R&B music scene, usually fronting his own band, the Squires. In 1965, with Hendrix as guitarist, he recorded some singles and demos for record producer Ed Chalpin. Chalpin also signed Hendrix to a management contract, which Hendrix soon forgot about and left for England in 1966 to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. After Hendrix became famous, Knight and Chalpin issued hundreds of albums of the recordings with Hendrix, resulting in years of legal action by both sides.
During the 1970s, after Hendrix's demise, Knight moved to London, where he formed the group "Curtis Knight, Zeus", and toured throughout Europe, relying on his Hendrix connection for many years. Among the musicians enlisted was Fast Eddie Clarke, who later joined Motörhead.
Knight wrote the book Jimi: An Intimate Biography of Jimi Hendrix, published in 1974 by W.H Allen (hardcover) and Star Books (paperback) in London, and by Praeger Publishers, New York. The book includes A Jimi Hendrix Discography, compiled by John McKellar. Knight also wrote a second book on Hendrix, titled Starchild, published by Abelard Productions in the mid-1990s. Knight was also a competitive table tennis player who played in some local tournaments while living in New York. In 1992, Knight relocated to the Netherlands where he continued to record up to his death from cancer in November 1999.
In 2003, Hendrix's estate finally prevailed in their legal actions against Chalpin and gained control of all of Hendrix's recordings associated with Knight, Chalpin, and PPX. Experience Hendrix, which currently manages Hendrix's recording legacy, has begun releasing the material he recorded with Knight. Much of it has been sonically restored and removes later overdubs and electronic effects.