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Samuel Gooden

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Information about Samuel Gooden

Profile image of Samuel Gooden

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Meatballs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Orlando, Florida
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1934
Birth Location:
Chattanooga, Tennessee

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Gray
Favorite Food:
Spaghetti, Meatballs
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Orlando, Florida
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
9/2/1934
Birth Location:
Chattanooga
See how Samuel Gooden is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Samuel Gooden was born on September 2, 1934 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the youngest of eight children. At age sixteen, Gooden began to perform at Chattanooga’s Triumph Church of God in Christ, where his father George was assistant pastor. Gooden and his twelve-year-old neighbor Fred Cash called themselves the Southland Jubilee Singers. In the evenings, they joined other teenagers on their block in singing rhythm and blues. In late 1950, Gooden joined the U.S. Army, where he served in Germany until 1953.

After returning from military service, Gooden joined Cash and their friends Arthur Brooks and Emanuel and Catherine Thomas to form an R&B group, Four Roosters and a Chick. They soon began to perform at Chattanooga nightclubs. In 1957, Gooden and Brooks decided to move the Roosters to Chicago, but Cash and the Thomas siblilngs remained in Chattanooga. Brooks’ brother, Richard, met a tenor at the YMCA in Chicago by the name of Jerry Butler. Butler 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 move to Chicago, the group gained Mayfield and Butler and called themselves the Impressions. They 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, they released the 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, Gooden, Mayfield and Cash were the Impressions, scoring a number one hit with “It’s All Right” in 1963. That year, they also released their first full album, The Impressions. In 1964, they released the hit “Keep On Pushing,” followed in 1965 with the civil rights anthem “People Get Ready.” In 1968, they 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, they 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 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. Today, Cash, Gooden, and Willie Kitchens, Jr. perform as the Impressions. They are now based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Gooden lives in Chattanooga with his wife, Gloria, to whom he has been married since 1963. They have four grown children.

See how Samuel Gooden is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Samuel Gooden's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden describes his mother's personality and musical talents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden describes how his parents met in Wedowee, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden describes his father's career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Samuel Gooden describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden describes his childhood neighborhood of Park City, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes the role of religion in his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden describes his childhood interests and aspirations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden describes musical influences in his youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes his educational experiences in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden describes his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Samuel Gooden recalls readjusting to civilian life after leaving the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden recalls starting his musical career with the Southland Jubilees
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden describes moving to Chicago, Illinois to start a singing group
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes playing semi-pro baseball in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden recalls being signed by Vee-Jay Records
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden explains how The Impressions got their name
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes how HistoryMaker The Honorable Jerry Butler left The Impressions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden describes The Impressions' changing lineup
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden describes Curtis Mayfield's unique guitar style
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden describes The Impressions after Jerry Butler left
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden recalls living in Detroit, Michigan during the early 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden describes the song 'Gypsy Woman'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden describes Curtis Mayfield's talent for writing lyrics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes the political messages in The Impressions' songs
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden recalls performing with Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden describes bands The Impressions toured with
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden describes the song 'It's Alright'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes the relationship between lead and backup singers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden recounts how The Impressions replaced Curtis Mayfield
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden describes his successful records during the 1970s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes the problem of bogus bands in the recording industry
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden describes copyright problems in the recording industry
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden describes his friendship with musician Eric Clapton
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden describes his recent successes with The Impressions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes his future plans for The Impressions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden describes his favorite musical performers
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden describes his contributions to The Impressions
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden describes Curtis Mayfield's paralysis and death
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden reflects upon his long career in the music business
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Samuel Gooden describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden recalls the death of The Impressions' band in a 1968 car accident, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden recalls the death of The Impressions' band in a 1968 car accident, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Samuel Gooden describes the aftermath of The Impressions' band's death in 1968
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Samuel Gooden talks about reunion performances of The Impressions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Samuel Gooden offers advice to aspiring musicians
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Samuel Gooden reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Samuel Gooden reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Samuel Gooden describes his family life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Samuel Gooden describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Samuel Gooden narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Samuel Gooden narrates his photographs, pt. 2