The Impressions Biography
The Impressions were an American musical group that was established in 1958. Doo-wop, gospel, soul, and R&B are all part of their repertory. Sam Gooden, Richard Brooks, and Arthur Brooks, all from Chattanooga, Tennessee, formed the Roosters before moving to Chicago and becoming Jerry Butler & the Impressions with Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield. Butler and the Brookses had left by 1962, and Mayfield, Gooden, and the returning original Impression Fred Cash had become a top-selling soul act after signing with ABC-Paramount Records. In 1970, Mayfield quit the trio to pursue a solo career; successors included Leroy Hutson, Ralph Johnson, Reggie Torian (born Reginald Torian), and Nate Evans (Twinight Records).
The Impressions had a streak of hits in the 1960s, many of which were significantly influenced by gospel music and served as inspirational anthems for the Civil Rights Movement. They were inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. They were also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998 for their single “People Get Ready” and received the Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation (in 2000). At the time of their retirement in 2018, the group’s illustrious career had stretched over 60 years.
“For Your Precious Love,” released in 1958, was the group’s first successful record, reaching No. 11 on the US pop charts and No. 3 on the R&B charts. Butler quit the group shortly after the publication of the R&B Top 30 smash “Come Back My Love,” and went on to have a successful solo career. Curtis Mayfield was named the group’s new lead vocalist and composer after temporarily traveling with the now-solo Butler, and Fred Cash, a returning original Roosters member, was named the new fifth member.
Butler’s early solo songs were written by Mayfield, who used the money to relocate the Impressions to Chicago, Illinois. In 1961, they signed a new deal with ABC-Paramount Records and released their first single since Butler’s death. “Gypsy Woman,” their biggest hit to date, peaked at No. 2 on the R&B charts and No. 20 on the pop charts. Following singles failed to equal the success of “Gypsy Woman,” and Richard and Arthur Brooks left the group in 1962.
The Impressions reunited as a trio in Chicago, where they quickly teamed up with producer Johnny Pate, who helped them modernize their sound and create a more lush soul sound. “It’s All Right,” a million-selling gold record released in 1963 that topped the R&B charts and reached No. 4 on the pop charts, became one of the group’s defining tunes. “It’s All Right” and “Gypsy Woman” were the anchors of the Impressions’ first LP, 1963’s The Impressions.
“Keep on Pushing,” the first of Mayfield’s Black pride anthem songs, was a Top 10 hit on both the Billboard Pop and R&B charts in 1964, peaking at No. 10 Pop. It was the title track from the same-named album, which also charted in the Top 10 on both charts. The following year’s main hit and the group’s best-known song, the gospel-influenced “People Get Ready,” which reached No. 3 on the R&B chart and No. 14 on the pop chart, featured an expanding social and political awareness.
Mayfield departed the group after the publication of Check Out Your Mind in 1970 and went on to have a successful solo career, which included writing and producing the Super Fly soundtrack, as well as collaborating on the soundtracks for Claudine, Sparkle, and A Piece of the Action. He kept writing and producing for the Impressions, who were still on Curtom. Following Mayfield’s departure, the Impressions hired Leroy Hutson as their new lead singer, but the group’s popularity eluded them, and Hutson left in 1973.
The Impressions embarked on their first-ever Japan tour in September 2018, which also served as their farewell tour in their 60th anniversary year. The Impressions played six gigs in Tokyo and Osaka at the Billboard Live venues. Hundreds of artists’ works were destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire, including the Impressions.
The Impressions Discography
|This Is My Country|
|We’re a Winner|
|The Fabulous Impressions|
|One by One|
|People Get Ready|
|Keep On Pushing|
|The Never Ending Impressions|
Frequently Asked Questions
An American music group from Chicago, Illinois, originally formed in 1958. The group’s repertoire includes doo-wop, gospel, soul, and R&B.
When Did Curtis Mayfield Leave The Impressions?
Curtis Mayfield left the Impressions in 1970. He had a successful solo career, releasing hits such as “Super Fly” and “Freddie’s Dead”. He was also active in politics, using his music to speak out against social injustice.
What Is The The Impressions’S Hit Album?
The Impressions’ hit album is “The All-Time Greatest Hits.” It includes all of their greatest hits, including “Ain’t Got Time for Hate,” “We’re a Winner,” and “People Get Ready.
Why Did Jerry Butler Leave The Impressions?
Jerry Butler left the Impressions in 1968 due to creative differences with the group’s leader, Curtis Mayfield. Butler had originally joined the Impressions in 1958 as a replacement for founding member Richard Street, and he sang lead on some of the group’s biggest hits, including “For Your Precious Love” and “Ain’t That Peculiar.