Night Music: The Impressions, “Gypsy Woman”

I had this piece in my head when back a few weeks ago when we were discussing those lost years of the 60’s, btween Elvis and the Beatles, which as Gene noted were not quite so lost if you knew where to look and listen.

I do confess that Top 40 and pop, and the Four Seasons and then the Beachboys ruled the airwaves in my bedroom during that time. Those were also the days of Bobbys Vee and Rydel and Vinton, all of whom were safer than Elvis, let alone Little Richard, and well, in 1961, When Gypsy Woman was released, I was still just 9 (didn’t hit 10 till the end of October).

I do confess to liking Vee’s Take Good Care of My Baby, and the truth is by then the Elvis who released tunes like Return to Sender bore very little resemblance to the bluesy guy who covered That’s Alright Mama so wonderfully during the Sun sessions.

Though I am sure there were a myriad of songs in between Peggy Sue, which really triggered my consciousness and subsequent love for rock’n’roll, and Gypsy Woman, somehow with each I remember thinking at first listen, “man, how could anything sound so good?”

So here it is, with greats Curtis Mayfield (who penned the tune) and Jerry Butler leading the charge.

Swear. I’ll be back soon. More tunes festering, and the “What makes a great song?” issue is something I tried to tackle almost a year ago but it went nowhere (lots of words, little point).


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