Musician singing the blues

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Seven On Your Side
March 12, 2010 8:44:09 PM PST
This accomplished musician loves what he does, playing for senior citizens so they can exercise and practice dancing. But he was doing the gigs and not getting paid.As a life-long musician and composer, Norman Curtis played with Oscar Brown Jr. and together they co-wrote these lyrics "Rags and Old Iron" for the legendary blues singer, Nina Simone.

Since retiring as a public school music teacher the 76-year old has supplemented his pension by performing as a one-man-band for local senior centers. One of his favorites, the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale.

For years he's been entertaining the seniors with everything from the Horah to the polka but never got all of his paychecks. In fact, he's owed hundreds for gigs he played as far back as 2008.

"It's just been so long and I haven't been paid for these jobs, and I've been telling them for two years," said musician Norman Curtis.

Tired of the excuses, a friend suggested 7 on your side.

"I was at a job at another place and they said when are you gonna be at the hebrew institute again? and I told him the story and he said, why don t you call 7 on your side..and I said Oh and I never thought of that."

We contacted the director of the Hebrew Institute. He said he wasn't made aware of the outstanding bills from his finance department. The Director promised to get the checks out A-S-A-P, the next week, 2 checks arrived totaling $720.

And a very grateful Norman Curtis is now singing a different tune onehe wrote just for us.

We thank Mr. Norman Curtis for his personal thank you he composed just for us. One other musician owed nearly $2,000 by the Hebrew Institute also got his back pay. Both are hoping they can continue to play there, because they love the audiences so much. ----

Story by: Nina Pineda

Produced by: Steve Livingstone