Curtom Records

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Curtom Records was a record label started by Curtis Mayfield of The Impressions along with Impressions associate Eddie Thomas (the band's manager and Jerry Butler's former driver) in 1968 although the name was used as early as 1963. The labels name was a combination of Mayfields first name (Curtis) and Thomas' surname (Thomas). Curtis had previously made attempts at a record label with the "Mayfield" and "Windy C" labels.

It is noted for being one of the first ever record labels owned by an African-American recording artist. Sam Cooke was the first African-American recording artist to start his own record label, SAR.

Curtom was located in Chicago's old RCA studio, acquired by Mayfield for cutting demo. Along with the Impressions' releases and Mayfield's own solo material, artists on or affiliated with Curtom included the Five Stairsteps, Donny Hathaway (principally as a songwriter/orchestration arranger), Linda Clifford, Baby Huey and the Babysitters, Leroy Hutson, The Natural Four, Bobby Whiteside, the Staple Singers, and Mavis Staples' solo efforts. Most of the acts on Curtom's roster were either produced by Mayfield himself, or heavily influenced by his style. Eddie Thomas later developed the Curtom subsidiary Thomas records.

Due to the decline in popularity of soul music, the label went through varying changes of distributions from several labels - first by Buddah Records, then by Warner Bros., RSO Records, and finally Arista Records, before closing for...
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