In Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was born and raised, Gooden passed away on Thursday, a month short of his 88th birthday, according to his daughter Gina Griffin. WRCB-TV in Chattanooga was the first to report on his passing.
After Gooden and the Brook brothers, Richard and Arthur, met Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler in Chicago in the 1950s, the Impressions were born. On their breakout song, the timeless ballad “For Your Precious Love,” from 1958, Butler sang baritone lead, but many of their songs featured Mayfield’s tenor, with Gooden singing bass behind him.
The Impressions remained a top group in the 1960s, known for their gospel-styled harmonies and socially conscious songs. Mayfield helped write many of their hits, including the widely covered “People Get Ready,” along with “Gypsy Woman,” “Keep on Pushing,” “It’s All Right” and “We’re A Winner.” They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Seven years later, “People Get Ready” was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Mayfield left the group in 1970 for a solo career, although he continued to write and help produce for The Impressions. Gooden and fellow Chattanoogan Fred Cash continued to sing as The Impressions along with other lead singers, including Leroy Hutson. They toured until 2018.