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Fred Cash

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Information about Fred Cash

Profile image of Fred Cash

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Greens (Collard)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
It Is Alright

Birthplace

Born:
10/8/1938
Birth Location:
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Brown
Favorite Food:
Greens (Collard)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
It Is Alright

Birthplace

Born:
10/8/1938
Birth Location:
Chattanooga
See how Fred Cash is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born on October 8, 1938, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Fred Cash was the third of four children in a musical family. Cash’s mother played the piano and he and the rest of his family sang at Chattanooga’s Beulah Baptist Church, which he attended “three times a day” growing up. At age twelve, Cash and his sixteen-year-old neighbor, Samuel Gooden, began to perform together at Gooden’s church as the Southland Jubilee Singers. The duo was also drawn to the music of the Platters and Ray Charles, and spent their evenings singing rhythm and blues on the corner.

At age fourteen, Cash began to perform at local nightclubs with Gooden and their friends Arthur Brooks and Emanuel and Catherine Thomas under the name Four Roosters and a Chick. Cash would sneak out of his bedroom window to perform, but when the rest of the Roosters decided to move to Chicago in 1957, Cash’s mother prevented him from doing so; the Thomas siblings also remained in Chattanooga. Brooks’s brother, Richard, met a tenor at the YMCA in Chicago by the name of Jerry Butler, who at the time was working a day job as a short-order cook. Butler’s partner in the Northern Jubilee Gospel Singers was Curtis Mayfield; when Gooden and Brooks moved to Chicago, the group gained Mayfield and Butler and called themselves The Impressions. The group released their first hit, “For Your Precious Love,” on Vee-Jay Records in 1958.

In 1959, after Butler left the group, The Impressions drove to Chattanooga to lure Cash back. Impressed with their success, Cash dropped out of Howard High School in the eleventh grade to join them in Chicago. The next year, Mayfield—the songwriter and leading force behind the group—encouraged Cash, Gooden, and the Brooks brothers to come to New York and record on ABC-Paramount. There, The Impressions released their 1961 hit “Gypsy Woman.” In February 1963, Mayfield, Cash, and Gooden decided to return to Chicago, while the Brooks brothers stayed in New York.

From 1963 to 1970, Cash, Gooden, and Mayfield were The Impressions, scoring a number one hit with “It’s All Right” in 1963. That same year, the group also released their first full album, The Impressions. In 1964, The Impressions released the hit “Keep On Pushing,” followed in 1965 with the civil rights anthem “People Get Ready.” In 1968, the group returned to the top of the charts with “We’re a Winner” and left ABC-Paramount to join Mayfield’s Curtom label headed by producer, Eddie Thomas. There, The Impressions produced two more albums before Mayfield left in 1970. Although Mayfield continued to serve as their occasional songwriter and producer, The Impressions remained on Curtom label through 1976.

The Impressions worked with many vocalists, including Leroy Hutson, Reggie Torian, Ralph Johnson, and Nate Evans, after Mayfield’s departure. In 1991, The Impressions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After Mayfield’s tragic paralysis in 1990 and death in 1999, Cash and Gooden continued to perform, touring with Eric Clapton in 2001. At the time of this interview, Cash, Gooden, and Willie Kitchens, Jr. were still performing as the Impressions; the group remained based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where Cash resides with his wife, Cynthia.

See how Fred Cash is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating for Fred Cash's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Fred Cash lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Fred Cash describes his maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Fred Cash talks about the musical talent in his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Fred Cash describes his paternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Fred Cash speculates on his parents' motivations to move to Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Fred Cash describes his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Fred Cash describes his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Fred Cash describes his childhood neighborhood of Park City in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Fred Cash describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Fred Cash remembers his musical influences as a young boy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Fred Cash remembers his interests and influences during his school years in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Fred Cash remembers entertaining himself with singing as a young boy
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Fred Cash remembers performing with his high school group, Four Roosters and a Chick
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Fred Cash remembers staying with his sister in Detroit, Michigan as The Roosters went to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Fred Cash remembers the early success of The Impressions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Fred Cash talks about the prominence of Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Fred Cash remembers joining The Impressions
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Fred Cash explains The Impressions' signature high tenor sound
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Fred Cash remembers the man who wrote the hit song 'Man oh Man'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Fred Cash remembers the excitement of joining The Impressions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Fred Cash remembers his early days in The Impressions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Fred Cash recalls the differences between Chattanooga, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Fred Cash talks about the influence of gospel music in The Impressions' songs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Fred Cash admires Curtis Mayfield's songwriting abilities
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Fred Cash remembers the early hits of his career with The Impressions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Fred Cash remembers the role of The Impressions' songs in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Fred Cash remembers Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Fred Cash remembers the loss of The Impressions' band in a tragic car accident
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Fred Cash speaks about his favorite Impressions' songs
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Fred Cash remembers singing backup for other notable artists
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Fred Cash remembers hard times for The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Fred Cash recalls the golden years for The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Fred Cash recalls the years after Curtis Mayfield left The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Fred Cash reflects on the image and influence of The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Fred Cash talks about the importance of knowing one's niche in the music industry
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Fred Cash reflects on the friendliness between members of The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Fred Cash remembers Curtis Mayfield's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Fred Cash talks about moving back to Chattanooga, Tennessee and performing with a new iteration of The Impressions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Fred Cash talks about his recent work with The Impressions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Fred Cash recalls traveling to Africa
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Fred Cash talks about the historical significance of Tennessee and Georgia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Fred Cash talks about The Impressions' first Christmas album
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Fred Cash reflects on his contributions to The Impressions
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Fred Cash describes his hopes for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Fred Cash reflects on his life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Fred Cash reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Fred Cash talks about his parents' reactions to his musical career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Fred Cash describes his wife and children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Fred Cash describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Fred Cash narrates his photographs, pt.1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Fred Cash narrates his photographs, pt.2