‘People Get Ready’

Thu, 06/08/2006 - 1:57pm
By: The Citizen

Percy Sledge and The Impressions perform at The Villages

Percy Sledge

The Villages Amphitheater continues the summer concert series this Saturday night in Fayetteville. Concert attendees will double their pleasure when Percy Sledge teams up with The Impressions to create a magical evening under the stars.

Born in 1941, Soul legend Percy Sledge worked in the fields in his hometown of Leighton, Alabama before he secured a job working as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in Sheffield, Ala.

By the mid-60s, Sledge was touring the Southeast with the Esquires Combo on weekends and working at the hospital. A former patient, who was a friend of producer Quin Ivy, introduced the two, an audition followed and Sledge was signed to a recording contract.

Sledge's smooth stirring voice was perfect for the series of soul ballads produced by Ivy and Marlin Greene, which rock critic Dave Marsh called "emotional classics for romantics of all ages."

"When A Man Loves A Woman" was the first song recorded, and it became not only an international hit, but was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records. The magnificent soul anthem became the cornerstone of Sledge's career and was followed by "Warm And Tender Love," "Take Time To Know Her" and "Cover Me."
Sledge continued to make soulful records with "I'll Be Your Everything" and "Sunshine" during the 70s and has become an international concert favorite throughout the world, especially in Holland, Germany and on the African continent.

Known as the "Golden Voice of Soul," Percy Sledge was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

The Impressions got their start in 1958 with their landmark record "For Your Precious Love." The group hit the charts again with "Gypsy Woman" in 1961. For Fred Cash, Sam Gooden and Curtis Mayfield, their string of sixties chart successes, beginning in 1963- which included such big hits as "It's All Right," "Amen," "Keep On Pushing" and "People Get Ready" - rivaled that of the Motown hit factory. The Impressions generated 16 Top 20 R&B hits and 17 Top 40 Pop hits between 1958 and 1969, and were second only to Ray Charles in album sales for ABC-Paramount Records.

It was no surprise, that in January of 1991, The Impressions were recognized for their musical contributions by being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with The Byrds, John Lee Hooker, Wilson Pickett and Ike and Tina Turner. The group was also inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

With only two group member changes since 1961, today The Impressions consist of Fred Cash, Sam Gooden, Ralph Johnson and Smokey Hampton. They continue to tour all over the United States, Canada and abroad performing their hits. With the reoccurring interest in oldies music, The Impressions are being discovered by a new audiences and they continue to delight their devoted fans. Having been a major force in the 60s and 70s charting many hit songs, The Impressions are the perfect choice for any event or venue appealing to the "Baby Boom" generation.

Gates will open at 7 p.m. with the headliner, Harold Seay, past member of the Kool and the Gang, performing at 8 p.m. The Impressions will take the stage at 9 p.m., immediately followed by Percy Sledge.

Tickets are still available and may be purchased for $30 each at the Train Depot in Fayetteville, or online at www.villagesamphitheater.com. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office the night of the performance for $35. Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted. For further information, please call Fayetteville Main Street at (770) 719-4173.

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