Curtis Loew is not the name of an actual person from Ronnie Van Zant's life. Rather, Curtis Loew is a composite of different people, including Skynyrd lead guitarist Ricky Medlocke's grandfather, Shorty Medlocke. Contrary to the song's lyrics, Shorty was not black. In a 1997 interview on the Lyve From Steel Town
album, the band was quoted as jokingly saying, "We needed to 'color' the song up."
Chris - Philly, PA