COOL PEPPER DISC TO MARK BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH RELEASE OF FIVE NEVER-BEFORE-HEARD RECORDINGS BY THE IMPRESSIONS
COOL PEPPER DISC TO MARK BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH RELEASE
Cool Pepper’s latest recordings will be available for digital download beginning Feb. 1 through http://www.CoolPepperDisc.com and other online retailers. The project features the Mayfield-penned song, “Never Too Much Love”, as well as soulful renditions of “Caught In The Middle”, “I Found You”, “Can’t Wait Till Tomorrow”, and “I Can Make It Go Away”. Michael produced the recordings in the mid-’80s at his Suite 900 recording studio in the former United Artists Tower on Music Row. He re-mastered them just in time for Black History Month.
“The Impressions’ popularity took a meteoric rise during the Civil Rights Movement, using their songs to preach a perpetually consistent message of equality for all,” said Michael, who garnered success as a tunesmith and publisher with the hit “Play the Game Tonight” (Kansas) and other cuts by acts such as Pure Prairie League, Aretha Franklin, The Oak Ridge Boys and Shirley Ceasar. “With Black History Month upon us, I felt it was time to make these wonderful treasures available for the first time. They’ve been in the music vault for more than 25 years.”
Cool Pepper ‘s “Never Too Much Love” will be the first single from the “Refreshing The Soul” EP. Orchard Music Group is handling worldwide digital distribution. The EP follows the 2011 release of “The Impressions’ 50th Anniversary Salute to Curtis Mayfield”, a CD featuring 17 Mayfield-penned hits, including “Keep on Pushin'”, “Amen”, “People Get Ready”, “It’s All Right”, “Woman’s Got Soul”, and “Talking About My Baby”. The label has also released a rare extended recording of the 1960s smash “Gypsy Woman”. All selections are downloadable at http://www.CoolPepperDisc.com.
“Black History Month is the time of year when we honor, reflect on, and ultimately remember our African-American heroes and all they have valiantly stood for throughout the years,” Michael added. “From Montgomery to Chicago, known activists to anonymous citizens, the push for racial equality has been a long and arduous journey, featuring some of the most distinctive and essential humanitarians of our time. Of these indispensable leaders, there is perhaps no group, artist, or band that did more for the movement than Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions.”
At age 16, Mayfield quit school, leaving to form a five-piece group called The Roosters. Later, the name would change to The Impressions. The lead singer was Jerry Butler, fellow member of Mayfield’s grandmother’s congregation. In 1958, a year after Mayfield left school, The Impressions scored a national hit with “For Your Precious Love” – one of the songs heralding the emergence of “Chicago Soul of the Sixties”. Butler (and his lead voice) went solo after “For Your Precious Love”, leaving most of the responsibilities for The Impressions to Mayfield.
Mayfield was now in charge of a group that had morphed from five to three pieces, a vocal rarity in the R&B/soul field at that time. But he turned it to his advantage, taking over as lead singer and putting together arrangements and harmonies for three voices that worked to set the group apart. As a result, The Impressions became a powerhouse group of the “Soulful Sixties”, with a consistent string of chart hits. The group even managed to take a stand against the arrival of The Beatles as chart dominators. When the British Invasion started in 1964, The Impressions racked up no less than five Top 20 hits that year, all crafted and tailored by Mayfield. The legendary songwriter/performer died in 1999 after racking up numerous hits with The Impressions and as a solo artist.
Michael has achieved success as a recording artist for Capitol and Mercury/Smash Records; a music publisher; a songwriter; a record producer; and a studio owner. He also has served as the owner of a booking agency and concert promotion company. His songs have been featured on gold, platinum and/or multi-platinum albums by top recording acts in pop, rock, R&B, country, adult contemporary and gospel, including Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Kansas, Pure Prarie League, Paul Overstreet, The Oak Ridge Boys, Rita Coolidge, Dobie Gray, Exile and Shirley Ceasar, among others. As a former member of the popular 10-piece soul band The Entertainers, he performed on concert stages in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and top venue circuits across the nation. For many years, he owned a state-of-the-art recording studio called Suite 900 on Nashville’s Music Row. His Cool Pepper Disc record label spotlights artists in various musical formats.