The Impressions circa 1958 (top) J. Butler, S. Gooden, A. Brooks (bottom) R. Brooks, C. Mayfield
The Impressions (Chicago)
(Part 1 : Early Years With Jerry Butler)
Jerry Butler (Lead/baritone)
Curtis Mayfield (Tenor)
Arthur Brooks (Tenor)
Richard Brooks (Tenor)
Sam Gooden (Baritone)
Jerry Butler & The Impressions
1958 - For Your Precious Love / Sweet Was The Wine (Vee-Jay 280/Falcon 1013/Abner 1013)
The Impressions featuring Jerry Butler
1958 - Come Back My Love / Love Me (Abner 1017)
1958 - The Gift Of Love / At The County Fair (Abner 1023)
The Impressions were actually made up of members of two groups: Arthur and Richard Brooks (tenors) and Sam Gooden (baritone) of the Roosters, and Jerry Butler (baritone) and Curtis Mayfield (tenor) of the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers. The three Roosters splintered from their original quintet when they moved to Chicago from Chattanooga, Tennessee, in 1957.
Clockwise from L - C.Mayfield, Vivian Carter (Vee Jay),S.Gooden, A. Brooks, R. Brooks, J.Butler
The Jubilees' Jerry and Curtis were Chicago residents who were traveling the gospel circuit and performing in the Traveling Souls Spiritualist Church, of which Mayfield's grandmother was a pastor. To help out with the family finances, both boys sang with secular groups on the side, Jerry with the Quails and Curtis as part of the Alphatones.
When the Roosters came on the scene, Jerry convinced Curtis to join, and soon they had both a sound and a manager named Eddie Thomas. During 1957 Thomas came up with an unusual gig for the teenagers: a downtown fashion show. Performing their usual set of rhythm and blues doo wop songs, the group also did an original with music by the Brooks brothers and lyrics by Butler titled "For Your Precious Love."
The Impressions (top) A. Brooks, S. Gooden and Fred Cash, (bottom) C. Mayfield and R. Brooks
It caught the attention of one Mrs. Vi Muzinski, who arranged an audition with Calvin Carter of Vee-Jay Records. They auditioned with "For Your Precious Love" right in the hallway and wound up recording for the label a few days later. (they changed the name of the Roosters to the Impressions. )
The single was released on Vee-Jay in May 1958. By July 28th "For Your Precious Love" was at number 11 Pop and number three R&B. Its flip side, the more traditional doo wop rocker "Sweet Was the Wine," became a street-corner vocal group favorite over the years. In September, their second single, "Come Back My Love," with a similarity to " Precious Love," came out and went to #28 R&B but never crossed into Pop. By the fall of 1958, Jerry Butler decided to go solo.
Three remaining Ewart Abner singles under the name the Impressions went nowhere, including "At the County Fair," the first recording with a Curtis Mayfield lead. Meanwhile, Fred Cash of Chattanooga, a Rooster before that group moved north, took Jerry's place in the Impressions.
American Singing Groups: From 1940 to Today by Jay Warner
For Your Precious Love Sweet Was The Wine Come Back My Love
Love Me The Gift Of Love At The County Fair
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