Documentary charting the history of one of the greatest soul groups of the 1960s along with its founding father, Curtis Mayfield. Featuring 22 vintage performances taken from TV appearances between 1965 and 1973, the film examines the influence the Impressions music had on the civil rights movement in the 1960s, as well as Mayfield’s solo work, whose subject matter came to mirror the harsh realities of urban life in America during the 1970s.
This two-hour film tells the incredible story of one of the greatest artists and most important R&B groups of all time. Also included in the documentary are 22 complete vintage television performances from The Impressions and Curtis Mayfield’s solo career filmed between 1965 and 1973. In addition to telling the history of Curtis Mayfield as an artist and the Impressions as a group the film explores how The Impressions’ music was a virtual soundtrack for the civil rights era in the ’60s. In an interview filmed exclusively for the documentary civil rights leader Ambassador Andrew Young (who worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) speaks about the effect classic Impressions songs such as People Get Ready Choice of Colours and We’re A Winner had on the movement and how often their songs were sung for inspiration in churches and during marches (some led by Dr. King.) The film also shows how Curtis Mayfield’s solo work helped define the early ’70s. Chuck D leader of the rap group Public Enemy provides context about Curtis’s music as a soundtrack to the grim realities of urban life culminating with his 1972 masterpiece Superfly. In addition Carlos Santana speaks about Curtis Mayfield’s unique genius as a songwriter artist and teacher and also comments on the spiritual nature of his music. Also featured in the film are Impressions Fred Cash and Sam Gooden who discuss the history of the group beginning with their origins in the late ’50s and share incredible stories about many of their classic songs as well as give insight into Curtis as a songwriter. In addition producer/arranger Johnny Pate speaks about the recording process of their classic songs and reminisces about the Impressions in the studio. Altheida Mayfield Curtis’s widow provides tender insight into the personal side of Curtis including his inspirations and aspirations as well as stories about Curtis as a husband and family man. Curtis Mayfield himself speaks through several archival interviews filmed throughout his career. Tracklist: It’s All Right (1965) Woman’s Got Soul (1965) I Need You (1965) People Get Ready (1965) Meeting Over Yonda (1965) We’re A Winner/Amen (1968) This Is My County (1970) Choice of Colours (1969) Check Out Your Mind (1970) (Don’t Worry) If There’s A Hell Below We’re All Gonna Go (1970) Keep On Keeping On (1972) We’ve Got To Have Peace (1972) We The People Who Are Darker Than Blue/ Give Me Your Love (1972) Superfly (1972) Freddie’s Dead (1972) Pusherman (1972) Eddie You Should Know Better (1973) Future Shock (1973) The Makings Of You (1970)