At a very young age, Curtis' parents realized he had absolute pitch. Indeed, music had always been an integral part of his family. During the 1970's, before he was born, his father was a drummer, and his mother was a trained vocalist. They would hold jam sessions and rehearsals in their home in Chattanooga.
These weren't small gatherings. They included drummers, keyboardists, lead and rhythm guitarists, bassists, various horns, percussionists, and enough vocalists to put a choir to shame. These sessions often turned polyrhythmic, transcending style and sound.
By the time Curtis was born, his parents had moved to Peoria, Illinois and had left behind all the trappings of life immersed in live music to take on those of child rearing, but they had brought with them a vast music library. They had everything on 8Track, on reel, and in their hearts.
Though he never owned another drumset, his father could never seem to stop tapping to complex rhythms on the steering wheel, in the bathroom, and on the table. Curtis' father provided for his family on a high school diploma for half his life and ended up as a college professor with a Ph.D degree.