Samuel Gooden (September 2, 1934 – August 4, 2022)[1] was an American soul singer. He was best known for being an original member of the successful 1991 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-inducted R&B group The Impressions, from its beginnings as The Roosters in the 1950s.[2][3]

Sam Gooden
The three singers wearing suits
The Impressions in 1964, from left to right: Sam Gooden, Curtis Mayfield, and Fred Cash
Background information
Birth nameSamuel Gooden
Born(1934-09-02)September 2, 1934
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
DiedAugust 4, 2022(2022-08-04) (aged 87)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
Formerly ofThe Impressions

Though often uncredited, his smooth voice can often be heard trading lines with lead singer Curtis Mayfield (most notably on "It's All Right") or his replacement, Leroy Hutson, on quite a number of songs. Gooden also sang lead vocals on a handful of Impressions tunes, such as "Aware Of Love" and the group's cover of "I Wanna Be Around".[4] His distinctive bass vocals can also be heard on the group's Top 20 smashes "Gypsy Woman", "Talking About My Baby", and People Get Ready, along with their chart hit, "I Been Trying", (later covered by Eric Clapton). Gooden and the group recorded and performed until his death in 2022. He was inducted with the group in 1991 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[5]

Gooden can be seen with original Impressions members Fred Cash and Curtis Mayfield (via archive footage) in the group's first-ever extended interview in the 2008 DVD Movin On Up – The Message and The Music of Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions, which also features a special poem dedicated to the group written and performed by actor Clifton Davis.

Gooden died of a heart attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on August 4, 2022, at the age of 87, as was reported by his wife.[6]


  1. ^ "Samuel Gooden 09/02/1934 - 08/04/2022 Obituary". Willis Funeral Home, Inc. Retrieved August 18, 2022.
  2. ^ Huey, Steve (December 10, 1994). Biography: The Impressions. AMG. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  3. ^ David Carroll, "Sam Gooden of the Impressions dies at 87", Local3News. Retrieved August 6, 2022
  4. ^ "Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions". December 26, 1999. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  5. ^ "Inductee explorer | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  6. ^ McArdle, Terence (August 24, 2022). "Sam Gooden, founding member of the Impressions soul group, dies at 87". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 7, 2023.