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Impressions (The)

The Impressions grew out of a band (The Roosters) that had formed in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1956. When original band members Sam Gooden and Richard and Arthur Brooks moved to Chicago in 1957 to pursue their musical dreams, they recruited Jerry Butler, who suggested that they invite Curtis Mayfield to join them. Discovered by Chicago record man Eddie Thomas, he changed the band’s name to The Impressions and secured a record contract for them. When Butler left the band in 1958, Fred Cash, who was in the original Roosters, replaced him. They had a top 5 hit in 1958 with “For Your Precious Love” and a number two hit with “Gypsy Woman” in 1961. The Brooks Brothers left the band at the end of 1962. They entered 1963 as a three-man band - Cash, Gooden and Mayfield. Starting in 1963, The Impressions recorded a number of landmark R&B hits, including “It’s Al Right,” “Talking About My Baby,” “Keep On Pushing,” “People Get Ready,” “You Must Believe Me” and “Woman’s Got Soul”. Mayfield left the group by 1970 and over the years, Cash and Gooden have added additional singers to their lineup performing at various times as a trio or a quartet. Today, The Impressions consist of Cash, Gooden and Willie Kitchens Jr., and Vandy Hampton. They were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1991. Clapton has long been an admirer of both Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. In 2000, he was invited to perform with The Impressions at a memorial service for Curtis Mayfield. Clapton then invited the group to sing backup vocals on his album, Reptile. The Impressions toured briefly with Clapton in 2001, most notably the string of performances at the Royal Albert Hall.