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The Impressions’ gospel-rooted rhythm ‘n’ blues, prominent on the pop charts during the struggle to end Jim Crow’s dominion, has been called the soundtrack of the civil rights movement. They have a rich history. Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1958–Sam Gooden, at left in the photo above, was a founding member–they later moved to Chicago and added Jerry “The Ice Man” Butler and Curtis Mayfield. Fred Cash, at right in the photo, joined in 1960. Butler left in 1962. Mayfield, who wrote many of the group’s best loved songs, stayed until 1970. After launching his solo career, Mayfield maintained a close relationship with the Impressions, continuing to write material for and produce them. He died on Boxing Day, 1999. After many changes in personnel, Mayfield’s position as lead singer is now ably–in my estimation–filled by Reggie Torrian, at center in the photo. In July of 2013 The Impresssions released a single, the Mayfield penned “Rhythm,” on Brooklyn’s Daptone Records. See whole story – http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/65048
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