1961 Impressions – Gypsy Woman
The Impressions recorded a few hit records with Jerry Butler in the fifties, but Jerry left the group to start a solo career and took member Curtis Mayfield with him at the end of the decade. Their departure seemed to put an end to the Impressions.
Curtis co-wrote some songs for Jerry and played guitar on some of his recordings, but in 1961 he reformed the Impressions with remaining members Arthur Brooks, Richard Brooks, and Sam Gooden. He also recruited Fred Cash to replace Jerry.
The first single the group recorded after reforming was Gypsy Woman. Curtis wrote the song and also sang lead vocals. The record reached #20 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart in 1961.
The Brooks brothers left the group in 1962, and the group continued on as a trio. Curtis remained with the group through 1970, by which time they had racked up 14 more top forty singles on the Hot 100 and two number-one singles on the R&B chart.
Curtis hit the top ten on the Hot 100 with Freddie’s Dead and Superfly in 1972. He had a total of 19 solo top forty singles on the R&B chart.
The Impressions continued recording without Curtis. Their biggest hit was Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man). Ed Townsend, the singer responsible for the fifties hit For Your Love, wrote and produced their 1974 hit. The single topped the R&B chart and peaked at #17 on the Hot 100. The group even sang the song on Soul Train. Fred and Sam continued leading the group with other temporary members until their farewell tour in 2018.
Brian Hyland hit #3 on the Hot 100 in 1962 with his single Sealed With A Kiss. His only other top forty singles for the next eight years were one single that reached #20 and two more that reached #25. In 1970, Del Shannon produced a few songs for Brian, including a cover of Gypsy Woman. That single peaked at #3, but it was the last of Brian’s records to reach the top forty.
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