Throwback: Curtis Hairston-I Want You (All Tonight)
Curtis Hairston was a native of Winston-Salem, N.C. and he started recording professionally in the early ’80’s after meeting basketball star Earl “The Pearl” Monroe. Hairston was quickly signed to Monroe’s Pretty Pearl Records after they met at Winston-Salem State University, which both had attended at different times. He attended the Julliard school in New York City and created his professional breakthrough moment when he gave Monroe a demo tape. Monroe was so impressed with Hairston that he turned down Keith Sweat because he did not believe him to be as strong a singer as Hairston. “I Want You (All Tonight)” was a successful club anthem and this song, along with “I Want Your Lovin’ (Just A Little Bit),” attracted a deal with Atlantic Records. He worked with Nona Hendryx, Jocelyn Brown, Allyson Williams and Barbara Pennington on his self-titled ’86 debut album for Atlantic. Luther Vandross also worked with Hairston as a back-up singer during his career. The album did not do well commercially but “The Morning After” was popular in the U.K. Hairston also sang with The B.B.&Q. Band and was the lead singer on their Genie album. He also recorded with the jazz group Ready For Reality in 1990 for the Next Plateau label. Hairston passed in ’96 from diabetic-related kidney failure in his hometown of Winston-Salem N.C. In 2011 Earl Monroe’s Reverse Spin Entertainment released the Celebrating Curtis Hairston compilation.