The Fatback Band Newsletter – October 2020

(Reproduction with permission of Bill Curtis.)

I’m hitting the ground running; I’m Back 100%, and I’m feeling great!

Hi Guys & Gals,

The band had its first rehearsal and get together last week since the outbreak of CORVID-19. I can’t explain that feeling; all I know it sounded like everyone was waiting for this moment; its moments like this make you realize how much you love music and what it means to you.

While I was cooped up in the house, my whole life seems to flashback………
I’ve been around music all my life I started music lessons at the age of 6 my first instrument was piano around the age 10 I fell in love with the drums; it came about when I heard this guy used his mouth to make drum sounds with his buddy playing piano that was my first introduction to the human beat box from that day on I was hooked on the drums. It wasn’t easy for me because I didn’t have any rhythm in my bones as a kid all you have is that desire, I had plenty of that, my first set of drums was a Gretsch set, great sounding drums has one best sounding snare drums on the market to this day. My Biological father bought me that set I met him when I was about eleven of age and we bonded until the day he died we had some great times together, he was my biggest fan. Hey, let me get back to how I got it all together, well living in this small town of Fayetteville NC there wasn’t that many guys that owned a drum set so word got out that I had one, also they knew I couldn’t play, they would ask mother if they could borrow my set, the answer was always no. My Mother, let me tell you a little something about her she this was a life time thing until the day she past, she was good but that was not good enough, she didn’t have the luxury of spending the time to study music, as she had to figure how to keep food on the table and a place sleep.

My mother was 18 years old when she had me and back then that was one the greatest sins you could commit having a baby out wedlock. With very little or no education the only job for a Black woman was cooking and cleaning white folks’ homes at about $10 or $15 a week. When I was about 4 years old, she had saved up enough to buy herself a used piano, I really don’t know how she got it but she did. She had a few skills from a friend who taught her how to read when she was young so you see I had no choice I had to take piano lessons, back then little boys didn’t take piano lesson that was a girl thing. I convinced my Mother to let me play drums, I played drums in high school. A friend told me his brother was starting a band and they needed a drummer who had a set of drums; he came by my house and asked my mother, she gave in and allowed me to join the group. Ok now they knew I couldn’t play! What they needed was a set of drums; the only way was to hire me every night; they would let me play the opening song. After that, would ask me can this guy sit-in; he would end up playing all night. A few weeks later, this guy left town, now they were stuck with me. Everyone in the band could play drums, better than me. I stayed there until I learned how to keep time (play in tempo), by the time I finished high school, I was now playing professionally. A few months later, I went into the military.

Music has been my life. It has been everything to me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

 Stay safe. Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis

October 2020 Bonnie Cehovet

Repropduction prohibited without permission of the author.

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Fatback Band Newsletter July 2020

I want to go back to the year 2014, Fatback Newsletter. I wrote about how the high-tech guys were taking over our industry, while the industry was laying back crying about how they were losing money as well as how sales did fall. Losing money, that’s the story they told the congress. Later, Congress did a small investigation and found that it was not exactly right and they made money in some cases.

They were trying to keep the artists from getting on an equal playing field that did not happen. The internet was a place where creative artists had control of their works; and what it did was to open up a whole new frontier, “a music revolution”. Still, our industry did not embrace the change at the time. I believe if they had, we would not be where we are today, the artist that is. The music industry is doing great! But you will never hear it from them. So, where are we today, a decade later?










The opportunities are still there, but there are more obstacles between us and real money for the everyday artists who depend on their creation for a livelihood. As the tech guys come up with new platforms that benefit the artist, the majors buys them out or becomes partners with the company so they can still have control on the artists. There is a minefield out there. You must be careful where to step. Everybody wants a piece of your work and they will nickel and dime you to get it, leaving you with pennies! That is what this revolution is about…money and using us as a commodity. As soon as we wake up, we, the artists, realize that there is no money. We have got a power, but our barking is not big enough.

Here we are at another crossroad “2020”. The entertainment world will not be as we once knew it. I do not know where exactly it is going. If I did, I would definitely be on it. One thing I do know; the fans will dictate what they want and how they want it. Meaning, if they do not like it, they are not buying it.
Music was slowly making a comeback to where it once was, when it was the heart and soul of the universe before the pandemic hit us. Right now, we need music more than ever! It transforms us & it takes us to another place. It lifts us and changes our mood. What we are going through right now…we all could use a little lifting. The kind that touches your heart and soul!
Let’s stay in harmony with the human race. I love you madly.
Stay safe.
Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis
Note: This newsletter is being shared with the permission of Mr. Curtis.
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The Fatback Band July 2019


Please note: This information is being shared, with permission, from the July 9th newsletter from the Fatback Band.

The FATBACK BAND New Generation are back in 2019 with a whole lotta Funk. The Fatback sound is as relevant as ever to a new generation!
“We value and love the Fatback Band family, thank you for your support for over 4 decades and I promise you that the best is yet to come! We have so many things planned for 2019, including NEW Fatback music. I’m thrilled that our music and shows are enjoyed by so many people worldwide, thank you for your love and let the funk always be with you! Hey, and enjoy the free download ‘Give Them The Funk’, see the link below” .
Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis (founder & leader of the Fatback Band).


The music of the Fatback Band has been sampled by some of the biggest recording artists. The legendary CHAKA KHAN paid homage to the Fatback Band by using “(Are You Ready) Do The Bus Stop” on her 2018 hit single “Like Sugar”.
1972 The Fatback Band Reunion 2019
Attention all Fatbackers! The Fatback Band is playing the Fifth Annual African Peace Festival in Fayetteville NC, it is free and open to the public. If you live in the radius of Fayetteville, NC., now is your chance to see and hear The Fatback Band free. All you need to bring is lawn chairs and your party shoes and as an extra treat, the Band is Celebrating 47th years reunion. Just plain funk in your face! All ex-members are invited to join us! come one, come all to African Peace Festival and The Fatback Band Reunion Celebration this weekend July 13th 2019 downtown, Fayetteville on Person Street.
P.S If you are young funk lover don’t know what Fatback is about now is your chance!! The Candyman in The Bang Bang Room listen out.
See you at the party


The internet is full of fake, bad quality Fatback Band merchandise rip-off’s. A brand new range of official, exciting, high quality merchandise will soon be available. Be sure to check out the Fatback Band website, for everything Fatback!


* YouTube

For the classic Fatback Band albums:
* Ace Records

For all the new music “FATBACK BAND New Generation & Bill Curtis”
* iTunes


This is an amazing band – I hope that you follow the links and enjoy their music!


(c) July 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written prmission from the author.
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The Fatback Band

Please note: This information is being shared with the consent of Bill Curtis, founder of the Fatback Band.

The Fatback Band story continues!
The FATBACK BAND New Generation are back in 2019 with a whole lotta Funk. The Fatback sound is as relevant as ever to a new generation!
“We value and love the Fatback Band family, thank you for your support for over 4 decades and I promise you that the best is yet to come! We have so many things planned for 2019, including NEW Fatback music. I’m thrilled that our music and shows are enjoyed by so many people worldwide, thank you for your love and let the funk always be with you! Hey, and enjoy the free download ‘Give Them The Funk’, see the link below” .
Bill ‘Fatback’ Curtis (founder & leader of the Fatback Band).
The Fatback Band Live Shows have rocked audiences on 5 continents!
• 14th November (Thursday) – JAZZ CAFÉ, London, United Kingdom
• 15th November (Friday) – JAZZ CAFÉ, London, United Kingdom
• 16th November (Saturday) – BUTLIN’S LEISURE RESORT, Skegness, United Kingdom
Further dates to be confirmed
‘Legendary ambassador’s of Funk’
‘Funkiest stuff I’ve ever heard’
‘The last of the great dance bands’
The Fatback Band are considered as one of the greatest live ‘party’ acts of all time. Their shows are electrifying
and are filling clubs and auditoriums of all ages from Los Angeles to Sydney.
I know you are surprised to see another note from me, I wanted to start the New Year out right by getting ahead and see if I can stay ahead. I believe I have addressed this before, I’ll make it brief remember this is from my point view and experiences.
Recently, I have been receiving quite few emails asking the question why we don’t play in the States, or when are you coming to our city. It not because we don’t want too, it’s because no agencies or promoters will book us; now I won’t go into a long detail about the reasons. I will just hit on a few. As one agent told me “we don’t have time for Fatback” in other word we don’t have time for old acts and especially one that knows how the games is played, meaning they can’t take advantage of us. Next the United State is youth orientated, after few years out there it becomes very hard to book an older act in the USA. Popular music (R&B, Jazz) it’s all about your latest hit not your legacy. Where as in other countries around the world your legacy never dies, just like in country music, the older you get the more they appreciate your music and support you. One more important thing, we are letting our Black Music culture die. There are only few really out there in the USA trying to preserve the Black Music Culture plus most of the ones who are booking music don’t know about Black Music history, the ones who did know and cared are out of the business or dead; how can you sell something you don’t know anything about?
The bottom line is money, promoters and agencies feel there’s not enough money out there for bands and they are right. There are only few out there still willing to pay and go see and hear a band perform; a live band is your best experience and people are not go out to small clubs anymore. Now, this is what it’s all about in the new world, finding like-minded people and nurturing to them. I think this is what it going to take to keep band music alive. Building a audiences online. Building our own audiences is nothing new we been doing it for years, the internet just gave us another tool to use but you got learn how to use it its very slow and painful. But always be true to yourself! You got to pay your dues, put a steady stream of music out there (2 or 3 month) and keep in mind the money is not online its your live performances out on the road where the money is and when you build that audiences that following.
I must stop now but I could go on and tell you how we got to where we are now but I save it for another day. Hope to see you on the tour.
Love and Music,
P.S. I hope you understand what I’m trying to say. Please give me your take on this.
New Fatback Band Merchandise…coming soon!
The internet is full of fake, bad quality Fatback Band merchandise rip-off’s. A brand new range of official, exciting, high quality merchandise will soon be available. Be sure to check out the Fatback Band website, for everything Fatback!
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Bill Curtis & the Fatback Band

     Fatback  Band Newsletter 2018

Note: This newsletter is being shared with the permission of Mr. Curtis.Hey Fatbacker;

Wow! I can’t express my gratitude enough for all the sellouts we had on our last tour in the UK. One thing that I noticed was that the audiences are getting younger and younger and that’s a good thing. To know young people are getting into funk and coming out supporting it, live music is a comeback. What I think is, this generation is getting tired of the manufactured sound because that’s only sounds they ever heard. So when they actually see musicians playing together live and interacting with audiences, it’s amazing and a whole new experience. A live show can be transforming. Music when done right can be life changing. I hope that our music has made a difference in your life some kind of way and thank you again for your support. 

Just in case you haven’t heard; Chaka Khan did a remake our Bus Stop tune we did in the 70s…new words and new title “Like Sugar”. With The Queen of Funk and Ambassador of funk it’s got to be funky. Hey, do a Download and enjoy yourself.

Please if you searching for new music by the Band on Amazon or online music stores, for our new music we now record under the name “The Fatback Band/New Generation”. For our old music we use the name The Fatback Band or go Our Website has been hacked we are in the process of restoring to bring it back up to date so bear with me a few more days and we should be back up.

There is something I don’t understand. Why promoters don’t book more Bands, especially funk groups… The reason I brought this up, is for five years I have been trying to put together a world funk tour and I can’t find anyone interested. People around world are crying for this kind of thing and it’s more like a music history tour…” When Funk Bands was King”. Young people today don’t know anything about this. Only what they read.

When I say people are crying for this kind of thing I mean live music, to see someone performing and playing real instruments is an experience you never forget. To bath in it, while it’s being cooked right in front of your face, to feel it moving through your whole body, while you lose yourself in the groove. That’s the kind of experience you get at a live performance. And if you ever get chance, catch a live funk band show and see exactly what I mean and tell me about your experiences.

If you’re thinking about having The Fatback Band for one of your events, now is the time to book.

Love and Music,

(c) December 2018
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Fatback Band March Newsletter

Fatback Band
Please note: This newsletter is being shared with the permission of Mr. Bill Curtis.

Hey Guys;

I know you been wondering whats been happening with us. We’ve been little busy touring. I just don’t have the time to do our news letter on regular basis. But I do want share this “Round Table Talk” with Bill and the Band with you. I think most of you guys know the history of the group, but just in case, here’s the first of the series of the round table talks.

On our last tour we hit a few new places. We went back to a few of the old spots we haven’t been in years. One of which is Ronnie Scott’s in London. The last time we were there was in the late 70’s. We also hit Leicester. The last time we played there was at the Bailey’s club ( a lot of you guys don’t remember that) and stayed in the Hilton hotel. Now that goes way back! This time we played at the 2 Funky Music Cafe and we had a ball. Leicester,uk still knows how to party. One of the new spot was Oakland Hotel in Norwich uk; a great room to play and stay! We can’t wait to get back there. The spot I will never forget was the last date on the tour!  You see, the North Sea jazz club canceled out  and we had a day off. The Cliff Hotel in Gorleston,uk invited us to stay there and they made us feel as if we were at home. What a great place! What a scenery and awesome atmosphere ! The whole staff knows how to party. That was a night to remember!!! Thanks to all the Fatback fans, old and new ones, that came out and supported us “We love you madly”

Okay guys I’m out here. Don’t forget to tell your friends, if ever see the
Fatback Band playing  anywhere and you want to have a night to remember, just go and buy your ticket early and bring your dancing shoes.

Love and Music


(c) March 2017 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.
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Fatback Band Newsletter – August 2016

Fatback Band
Please note: This newsletter is being shared with the permission of  Mr. Bill Curtis.
 Fatback Band  August 2016 Newsletter

Hi Guys;
So excited to be coming back to the Jazz Café it been quite a while since we’ve been there and it on a Tuesday night this band haven’t work on a Tuesday night in a long time I know it will turn our week around. if you can get out it would be great seeing all the old Jazz Cafe fans again  as you know August is my Birthday month come on out and have a  taste with me and the band I will be sitting up stair at the bar.
We will be touring The UK for 8 Engagements three of dates was canceled.  Ipswich, Sheffield and Bournemouth,  but we will be coming back next year to pick up those dates, so be on the lookout.
People are forever asking me do we have new music out the answer is “Yes” we have been releasing new music every year for the past three years, the problem is getting it heard. our new music is on the internet, in all the e-music store, itune ,Amazon and place like that, but like I said getting it heard is problem. I call the internet the graveyard for music unless you have big bucks when I say big I mean big. little group’s like our don’t have that means. we are working  hard at trying to stay alive. you must stay busy being reborn again if you not you busy dying.
 On this tour we are hitting a few of the larger Festivals on 28th August we be at Campsoul music in Oxford , September 1st  at G-Live in Guildford and then swing over to Liverpool on 2nd at Philharmonic, we going funk up the Place on 5th of September in Southend.  we gonna hang around a few days to do the  Bestival on September 8th Isle of Wight. if you never attended this is  a must, an experience you never forget. I don’t know what time we going on, but we will be there, see you at the show.
Don’t forget if you see us on the streets don’t be afraid to come up and say “Hi “We Love You” !
Love and Music
(c) August 2016 Bonnie Cehovet
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Fatback Band Newsletter – July 2016

Fatback Band
Fatback Band  July 2016 Newsletter
Note: Newsletter shared with the permission of Bill Curtis.
Hi Guys

Sorry about our newsletter’s. I have been very business redirecting “The New Generation of The Fatback Band”, recording and putting together a hot new show. The Fatback Band New Generation will kick off their 2016 tour in Brooklyn, NY July 7th at the Metrotech Plaza downtown Brooklyn…A free outdoor concert from 12 noon to 2 pm; all Fatback for two long hours. It has been many moons since we played in Brooklyn. I can’t wait to introduce our music to our new generation of fans in Brooklyn and see a lot of our old Fatback funkerteers. I know this maybe bad timing for a lot of you, but most of the funkerteers are retired. Come on out and get your funk on again and tell a friend.
Our concert will lay out the blueprint, musically where New School got their start from, by combining, old school with new school. Yes we will be playing all your ole time favorite hits. No show would be complete without” Do the Bus Stop, Backstrok’n, Money and I Found Lovin.”
Our band personnel have changed. Along with me…on Bass: Zack Guinn, Keyboards: James Forbes, Sax: Robert Lock. Back in the lineup singing: Isabella Gordon & a young man I know you will fall in love with, our lead vocalist and Drummer: Des Humphrey. Still holding down the Guitar spot is Darryl McAlister, along with Ledjerick Woods, Trumpet. I call them “The Young Turf”

Thanks for your time! I’m out of here, but I want tell when new members come in a band the first thing we do is jam and that what we did. The tape was running and I decided to release the raw live Jam session. Des wanted to Rap on Bus Stop and Money Oh! Oh! But that’s not the way it started! The horns wanted to do Bus Stop and Des took it over. Anyway the link is below along with a little bonus from the band “Smash That Thang up Against the Wall”

(c) June 2016
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Bill Curtis & The Fatback Band – January 2016

Bill Curtis

Note: Newsletter shared with permission of Bill Curtis.

Happy New Year, Everybody! Peace, Love and Music!

A lot of things happened in 2015. We lost a lot of great musicians last year.   I am looking forward to this year. I will be going in a few new musical directions.
I put together a new Fatback Band this summer the Fifth generation of Fatbacker. I hope we can find some work… it is hard to put the numbers together in this economy. With airfares and hotels prices continuing to go up, this year will be a challenging year for musicians. Hell! Every year was challenging to find ways to make a living doing what they love best, playing and creating music.
 I wrote about this in my 2010 newsletter.  I feel like it’s worth touching on it again; live shows and building a family. It’s not like the old days, like the old days was so great. Once upon a time you could make money from the sales of your records and that was a livelihood. If you’re thinking you can do that now, forget it. The money is gonna come from your performances. Your live shows and today’s musicians got to hit the stage like their life depends on it…  fearless, only the great ones will survive.  You want be in it for long haul and you want your fans to be with you for the long haul. I have been talking about this for the last few years.
It is not easy, even with the social sites; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It’s a full time job trying to get out there…that’s right, you gotta go out and build you an audience for your music and nurture them. Today’s music lovers want to be a part of the act, they want to know you personally and want you to be accessible to them. Yes they are your family, your musical family. The one thing I found out about those social sites they are just that, for socializing. And don’t try to use it as PR tool for your music, but to interact with your family (fans) and let them sell your music. As the ole saying goes, “Word of mouth is the best promotion. Remember this, it’s all about
1. The song
2. The Band
3. The moment, the energy you give on stage to each other.
I call it SBM .

Here are our February 2016 engagements in the UK.

Butlins Resort
Feb 5th 2016
Warren Rd. Minehead, TA24 5SH
+ 44-1643 70331
show time 9:00 pm

Nells Jazz and Blues
Feb 6th 2016
3 Northend Crescent
West Kensington
London W14
0207 792 1200

Feb 7th 2016
45 Poole Hill
0129 243 8000
Here I am in 2016, telling you, how to, like I have sold a few thousands on the net… No, but what little work I have done has shown me you can make money if you are willing to put in the time. I’m not saying you’ll sell tons of downloads or CD’s. But you’ll have control of your music; you’ll be the CEO, President, and CFO of your company. And the sad part… you won’t have anyone to blame. The internet is just a small part of the puzzle you have got to be organized. Most musician are not. You must have a business plan and you must take time to learn the music industry. If you are not willing to learn, you must hire people who knows the music industry. That’s why so many little groups don’t really see the big money. It’s time-consuming and you must be willing to live on the edge, be different and fresh, not a follower.  I must say this, if you in it to get rich you in the wrong place. If you have the love, the passion and want make a different in people lives and have the gift to create, music can be rewarding.
I promised you some new music in 2016. Below is music from fifth generation of Fatbacker, I call them “The Young Turf”.  It’s gonna be a fun year I promise you.  Give me your feedback. Don’t stop! I do listen.
Enjoy the experience of enjoying music!


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Bill Curtis April 2015 Newsletter

The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg

Fatback Band

Note: This is the April, 2015 newsletter from Mr. Bill Curtis, founder of the Fatback Band. It is being shared here with his permission.

Hey guys; every so often I drop a few lines about where are we now. , well we’re just where I thought we would be one day! No better off than we were ten years ago. you know all the BS they were feeding us… how all this new technology was to help you to control and made more money from our content in the long run.  we are at the end of the road. this is what’s happening now. The major Labels which own about 15%  of Spotify is out there trying to find buyer for Spotify for 10 Billion Dollars. a few years ago wrote in one of my newsletters,  I believe if Steve Job was still around he would figure out a way we could get better compensated for our content. I ready don’t know if streaming is the answer, but that’s the way it is, this is the way it’s going to be if Apple become the largest music company in the world… let me show you how big this move would be. Do you remember how large mabell (AT&T) was and the government broke them up? Apple move is twice as large and maybe larger.

Spotify, Pandora, Deezer ,Google Music and Rhapsody was built on the backs of songwriters, musicians and composers. Yes that right! It’s our music that has made those companies. We are the modern day slaves. There’s no other way to put it. They took our music and downgraded it. Put in their expensive hardware for free and we bought the phones. What they were doing was using someone else creations to sell their product. I said it before and I’ll say it again, by right we should be getting something off the sale of every cell phone that has music in it at the point sale. And then they set up websites where you could get all the music ever made and pay peanuts for the use of our music… (I must say they did better than the juke box man). I know I may sound like I’m crying and little bitter but I’m not. I’m just telling it like it is and hope this new breed of writers, musicians and composers can break this chain of slavery. And get it right.

Yes, with steaming, Apple will serve you up all you can eat for $10  a month. It’s like a buffet. Now here’s the pitfall; so they won’t look like the bad guys, they are sending the artist money to the record labels; that’s like…call the Wolves to guard Sheep. I think things will be a little better. Maybe a few extra dollars in our pockets. I doubt it, not under the present pay scale, but don’t hold your breath. As long as you have 3 to 4 hands touching the money before it gets to you, we will always come up on the short end of the stick.

I think Apple is going to make this move I heard. I also heard, all that stuff with Taylor Swift, was all a big plan to bring Spotify buying price down which didn’t happen. When this slave ships stop sailing, who will be technology next ship?

before I go it would be a nice thing if the tech music industry like Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Google and the others, would use a little of that money to build a few rest homes for senior musicians, a fund for out of work musicians and families or maybe scholarships for young musicians, do something for the industry. But oh! That would be too much like right… $ 10 Billion!!

All I’m saying…we are all in this together! Don’t kill one industry to build another. Why kill the goose that laid the golden egg, but This is the America way.

I’m outta here! Look for The Fatback Band in the UK about the first week in September. We still have some open dates that need to be filled. Hope to have a couple new songs out about the end of May.

Making some big moves in the Band beefing up sound bring in some new blood, putting some new funk in your face. keep it live.

Click here to see our FatBack Band merchandise.


(c) April 2015 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written consent of the author.

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