The Fatback Band embodies the imaginative spirit of street music and free expression and was first formed in 1970 by veteran drummer Bill Curtis in New York City. At that time, he had already been playing for 20 years, both as an in-demand session musician and as a drummer touring the country with celebrated acts such as Sil Austin, Red Prysock, Big Maybelle, Bill Doggett, Paul Williams, Clyde McPhatter and the 33rd Army Band and 7th Army Special Services. The “Fatback” concept emerged from Curtis’ quest to invent a new groove by merging the “fatback” jazz beat of New Orleans with vivid West Indie and Caribbean rhythms, a novel sound that became the basis for the first disco beat. The Fatback Band started with Curtis, guitarist Johnny King, bassist Johnny Flippin, trumpet player George Williams, saxophonist Earl Shelton and conga player Wayne Woolford, who combined to become masters of the “street funk” genre. Curtis soon added extra layers with skilled instrumentalists George Adams and Fred Demerey (saxophone), Gerry Thomas (keyboards) and George Victory (guitar).