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Friday, March 18, 2011
THE IMPRESSION'S 50th ANNIVERSARY SALUTE TO CURTIS MAYFIELD
Cool Pepper Disc’s debut release, The Impression’s 50th Anniversary Salute to Curtis Mayfield, serves as an emotive and poignant soundtrack for Black History Month, offering a vivid sonic recollection of the divisive 1960s civil rights movement. “Drawing inspiration from church, The Impressions songs reflected the country's social and political concerns of the time, capturing the mood and aspirations of America like no other during the 1960s,” said prominent songwriter/producer/publisher and Cool Pepper Disc founder Jerry Michael, “These legends of soul were the first group to bring inspirational messages into the pop market. They helped pioneer the genre.”
The Chicago-based Impressions exploded onto the music scene with the 1958 national hit “For Your Precious Love.” The song became a top five hit, and is widely accepted today as the catalyst for the emergence of Chicago Soul. The Impressions went on to become a powerhouse group of the "Soulful Sixties", providing a perpetual series of chart hits that served as the score for the civil rights movement. The group’s success was so prolific, The Impressions even managed to take a stand against the arrival of The Beatles, charting no less than five Top 20 hits in 1964, all crafted and tailored by Mayfield.
Cool Pepper’s first release features previously unreleased recordings of 17 Mayfield-penned hits, including "Keep on Pushin'", "Amen", "People Get Ready", "It's All Right", "Woman's Got Soul", "Talking About My Baby" and a never- before-heard extended version of the 1960s smash "Gypsy Woman" which has sat in a music vault since 1961.
"When 'Gypsy Woman' was originally recorded, it was too long for radio, so they cut the last verse for airplay," Michael stated. "The rest is history. It was a huge hit. Now fans will be able to hear the unreleased version for the very first time."
All the tracks on the Mayfield tribute album have been digitally re-mastered by Michael whose career has spanned more than 40 years. Michael initially achieved success as a recording artist for Capitol and Mercury/Smash Records, and went on to become an established music publisher, songwriter, studio owner, and record producer at Suite 900 in the United Artists Tower on Nashville's Music Row. His songs have been featured on gold, platinum and/or multi-platinum albums by top recording acts in pop, rock, R&B, country, adult contemporary and gospel, including Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Kansas, Pure Prarie League, Paul Overstreet, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rita Coolidge, Dobie Gray, Exile and Shirley Ceasar.