Every once in a while a music talent comes along that is simply remarkable. Curt Powell was such a prodigy. While he may have been blessed with a gift, Curt worked hard to perfect it. Many have said they have never heard his equal on guitar. Curt could go from playing old fashioned country to mellow jazz to rock & roll....even some classical, seemingly without effort and always flawlessly. To work with him on stage was pure joy, and he just made everyone sound better.
Curt was born on August 5, 1940. He grew up in Garretson, SD and graduated from Garretson H.S. in 1958. He then proceeded with his musical career.
Curt's love of music started at the ripe age of 13, when his older brother (Merle) taught him the "G" chord. In 1958 while playing at a talent contest at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls, Curt met Myron Lee (who was also in the talent contest) for the 1st time. Myron wondered...."Wow! who is this guy? He sounds as good or better than anyone I am hearing on hit records of the day." Myron was able to get Curt to join The Caddies to play lead guitiar. The band really took off in 1959 and Myron felt like they had the best guitar man to ever come out of the Midwest.
In the the summer of 1963, Myron Lee and the Caddies were playing at the Spearfish Pavilion as the Opening act to the Everly Brothers. When Don Everly heard Curt warming up he shook his head in disbelief and said he'd never heard anyone that good except for Chet Atkins, with whom the Everlys had recorded with in Nashville on several occasions.
Curt was a singer, a song write, but most of all - a guitarist. Because of his unique talent he had the opportunity to play in several well known local and national bands, and also had the pleasure of traveling throughout the US and Canada performing for numerous audiences.
Unfortunately Curt passes away in August of 2003 at 63 years of age, but his legacy as one of, if not the best guitarist to come out of the midwest will live on.
2012Spirit of the Music Award