Originally formed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as the Roosters, the Impressions broke through to stardom and more when they moved to Chicago and added Jerry Butler and Curtis Mayfield to the lineup. Butler left the fold in 1962, after which the group became increasingly socially conscious under Mayfield’s leadership, notching hits in the wake of their “People Get Ready” while influencing future icons—Bob Marley, for one, patterned his Wailers on the Impressions lineup of Mayfield, Sam Gooden and Fred Cash.
Though Mayfield is no longer with us, Gooden and Cash have kept the soulful flame alive with newer recruit Reggie Torian. Here, the trio headlines a benefit for global abolitionist organization Free the Slaves. An observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, the show also features local luminaries Binky Griptite, the Dap-Kings, Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens, and Inspirational Voices of the Abyssinian Baptist Church—and special guests are promised.—Steve Smith
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