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Gene Kurtz

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Gene Kurtz Musician, husband, father and grandfather, Eugene Kurtz, Jr., died peacefully from complications of advanced metastatic lung cancer on October 22, 2011, surrounded by his loving family. Gene was born in San Antonio, Texas on October 9, 1943 to Eugene Kurtz Sr. and Gladyce Babcock Kurtz. A lifelong musician, songwriter, and bassist, he was recently inducted into the Songwriter Hall of Fame at the Texas Legacy Music Awards in San Antonio. He was also a 25-year member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Kurtz was well known for co-writing Roy Head's 1965 hit "Treat Her Right." The hit established one of the most recognizable bass lines of the '60s, and "Treat Her Right" reached No. 2 on both the Billboard pop and R&B charts in 1965. Since then, it has been covered by a long list of artists, including Otis Redding, Barbara Mandrell, George Thorogood, Robert Plant, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. The song continues to be enjoyed and recorded around the world. His early career began as a sideman playing and recording in both San Antonio and Houston. Kurtz' résumé was impressive: he worked with Booker T, Percy Sledge, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Edgar Winter. In Austin, he played with numerous local bands. For many years he performed and toured with Dale Watson, with whom he co-wrote "Way Down Texas Way." He is survived by his wife Dell Edwards Kurtz, son Christian Kurtz and his wife Christie, grandson Jasper Kurtz, and step-son Evan Saenz. He is also survived by a wealth of beloved lifelong friends and fellow musicians. A celebration of Gene Kurtz' life will be held on Nov. 6 from 3 - 5 p.m., at Mesa Ranch, 8108 Mesa Dr., Austin Texas. A wake will follow at Ginny's Little Longhorn Saloon, 5434 Burnet Rd., Austin, Texas. To send condolences and for further information, please visit genekurtz.com.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 30, 2011
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