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Curtis Mayfield: “Superfly” and “It’s All Right” (with The Impressions)

Curtis Mayfield, among many other distinctions, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Impressions and as a solo act.

Superfly, the song and the movie, are cultural milestones. Biography offers more about Mayfield, who suffered a horrific accident twenty years after the film was released:

In 1970, Mayfield began a solo career, recording a series of albums and working as a producer for artists like Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight and the Pips. His most memorable solo project was the classic 1972 funk album Superfly, the soundtrack to the hit “blaxploitation” film of the same name. Superfly was the No. 1 album on the pop charts for four weeks and solidified Mayfield’s legacy as one of the late-20th century’s most innovative songwriters and performers.

Though his popularity began to fade in the late 1970s with the rise of disco, Mayfield continued to record hopeful, inspirational music and tour actively in the United States, Europe, and Japan. In 1990, during an outdoor concert in Brooklyn, New York, a lighting scaffold fell on Mayfield; the accident left him paralyzed from the neck down. The amazingly indefatigable musician continued to compose and record music, learning to sing while lying flat on his back and letting gravity create the necessary pressure on his lungs. (Continue Reading…)

Here, courtesy of Wikipedia, is a list of Mayfield’s accomplishments:

  • Mayfield’s solo Super Fly is ranked No. #69 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
  • The Impressions’ album/CD The Anthology 1961–1977 is ranked at No. 179 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of all time.
  • As a member of The Impressions, he was posthumously inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.
  • Along with his group The Impressions, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.
  • In 1999, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist making him one of the few artists to become double inductees.
  • In 1999, he found himself inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame just prior to his death.[14]
  • He was a winner of the prestigious Grammy Legend Award in 1994.
  • He received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995.
  • He is a 2-time Grammy Hall of Fame inductee: for the song People Get Ready with The Impressions, and for the award-winning album Super Fly as a solo artist.
  • The Impressions’ 1965 hit song, “People Get Ready”, composed by Mayfield, has been chosen as one of the Top 10 Best Songs Of All Time by a panel of 20 top industry songwriters and producers, including Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David, and others, as reported to Britain’s Mojo music magazine.
  • The Impressions hits, People Get Ready and For Your Precious Love are both ranked on Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as No. 24 and No. 327 respectively.
  • In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Mayfield No. 98 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.[15]

Superfly is above. Below, Mayfield sings It’s All Right with The Impressions on the program Hollywood A Go Go in 1965