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Curt Newbury

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Biography

Texas-based singer/songwriter Curt Newbury had a short career in the national spotlight, but has won a cult following for his sole major-label album, 1970's Half a Month of May Days. Newbury was born in Dallas, TX, on June 8, 1942. He fell in love with music at an early age, listening to Mozart recordings with his mother, and he began taking violin lessons when he was in fourth grade. Newbury gave up the instrument a few years later, discovering that girls weren't impressed with a guy who carried around a violin case, but he held on to his passion for music. In 1960, Newbury graduated from Dallas' Highland Park High School, and when he moved on to the University of Texas on a track scholarship, he took up the guitar, influenced by Joan Baez and other folk artists who were coming into vogue; Newbury had tried writing songs when he was younger and he returned to it when he began learning guitar. As Newbury gained confidence in his musical abilities, he started playing local clubs, eventually leaving school to focus on his music and hiring a manager. In 1962, Newbury was drafted into the Army; he spent three years in the service, learning photography while in uniform.

In 1966, Newbury began working in a photo studio and returned to writing songs and performing, eventually attracting the notice of MGM-distributed Verve-Forecast Records, who signed Newbury to a recording contract in 1969. While Newbury had earlier recorded some singles that were never released (produced by a young T Bone Burnett), 1970's Half a Month of May Days was his first album; recorded at Sound Factory Studios in Los Angeles, the album included accompaniment from several members of the innovative West Coast psychedelic band Kaleidoscope. While the album was well received, it didn't sell especially well, and it proved to be Newbury's only album for many years. While Newbury continued to write songs and make live appearances, he put greater emphasis on his career as a photographer and in time opened his own studio, focusing on portrait work and glamour photography. Newbury continues to perform and record in his spare time, and is completing an independent album, Lucky Grin.

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