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Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions

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Curtis Mayfield (June 3, 1942 – December 26, 1999) was an American soul, funk and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist probably best known for his soundtrack to the blaxploitation film Superfly.

Mayfield's career began in 1956 (see 1956 in music) when he formed The Roosters with Arthur and Richard Brooks and Jerry Butler. Four years later The Roosters, now including also Sam Gooden, became The Impressions. The band had hits with "For Your Precious Love" and "Gypsy Woman." After Butler left the group and was replaced with Fred Cash, Mayfield became lead singer, frequently composing for the band, as well. "Amen", an updated version of an old gospel tune, was included in the soundtrack of 1963 MGM film Lilies of the Field, which starred Sidney Poitier. The Impressions reached the height of their popularity in the mid to late 1960s, with a string of Mayfield compositions that included "Keep On Pushin'", "People Get Ready", "Choice of Colors", "This is My Country", and "We People Who Are Darker than Blue." Mayfield's "We're a Winner" became an anthem of the black power and black pride movements when it was released in late 1967.


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