Curtis Mayfield's impact on soul music is undeniable and various accounts on his life has been written through the years. This October a new account written by none other than his very own son, Todd Mayfield, promises to bring more intimacy and depth to the soul singer's life.
The book will be titled Traveling Soul: The Life of Curtis Mayfield, written by Todd and in collaboration with writer Travis Atria. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, “In presenting his story through my eyes,” Todd writes, “I have tried to tell it like it is and like it was, even when a crafted piece of public relations would have made him look better.”
The book chronicles Mayfield's life from childhood until his death in 1999, offering more depth with personal anecdotes from Todd. The Chicago Tribune provides several samples such as Mayfield moving to the dangerous Cabrini-Green housing complex on the Near North Side of Chicago, and befriending fellow soul singer and songwriter Jerry Butler. Eventually joining his group, The Impressions, and creating hits such as “Gypsy Woman,” “It’s Alright” and “I’m So Proud.”
Following a successful solo career in the 70s, an accident with some stage lighting equipment left him paralyzed from the neck down in 1990. After releasing one final album in 1996, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hame of Fame in 1999, he passed away in December of that year at the age of 57.
“At that moment, I didn’t know what to think or how to feel,” writes Todd in Traveling Soul. “A part of me felt relief that he was gone and didn’t have to suffer any longer. Another part of me felt alone, with no father to be there for me if I really needed something.”
This book will definitely be movin' on up to the top of any self professed Mayfield fans' book list this fall. Book was released on 1st October.