Who was/is Jerry Butler And The Impressions ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
Little Young Lover
The Impressions were still five men strong, even though Jerry Butler was long gone as their lead vocalist. Curtis Mayfield was proving more than sufficient as his replacement, his light tenor miles away from The Ice Man's burnished baritone.
After a cold spell following Butler's departure, The Chicago-based Impressions (along with Curtis, they were tenor-singing brothers Arthur and Richard Brooks, baritone/bass Sam Gooden, and the newest Impression, tenor Fred Cash) signed with the major ABC-Paramount Records and launched a comeback with their intoxicating Gypsy Woman (Curtis was inspired to write it after viewing a gypsy dance around a campfire in a Western film; it's on our previous disc).
Gypsy Woman was waxed not in the Windy City, but in New York. Their Mayfield-penned ABC encore Grow Closer Together, another mysterious-sounding minor-key theme that barely scraped into the Hot 100 for a week in early '62, was supervised by Roy Glover, Jr., who also did the honors on Gypsy Woman. For Little Young Lover, a buoyant Mayfield composition laced with inspiring harmonies that made a brief #96 pop showing in July of '62, the behind-the-board reins were turned over to Mal Williams, soul chanteuse Maxine Brown's New York-based manager.
No matter who produced The Impressions, the sound was basically all Curtis. His highly distinctive guitar riffs (check out the dizzying ending of Little Young Lover) and feathery lead vocals set the group apart from their many peers, even when they tackled a rare cover as they did on the flip of Little Young Lover: Never Let Me Go had been a 1954 R&B hit for piano-playing balladeer Johnny Ace, but The Impressions' throwback doo-wop treatment instantly made it theirs. That Mayfield was still only 20 years of age in 1962 is mind-boggling.
Before the year was over, the Brooks brothers headed back to their Chattanooga, Tennessee homebase, frustrated by the airiness of such Mayfield songs as Minstrel And Queen and I'm The One Who Loves You. The three-man Impressions were destined for major stardom.
Various - Street Corner Symphonies Vol.14, 1962 The Complete Story Of Doo Wop
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