History will take place Sunday, September 25, 2011 when Rock and Hall of Famers, The Impressions, team up for the first time with the legendary gospel trio, The Rance Allen Group, for a historic remake of the former’s classic, “People Get Ready.” The song about a metaphorical “train coming “ to “pick up passengers” for a ride to Heaven and eternal life, was originally released in the winter of 1965 when it rose to #3 on the Billboard R&B singles chart while peaking at #14 on the pop singles chart. It has been covered dozens of times by artists such as Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin and Seal. Rollingstone magazine once cited it as the 24th greatest song of all time.
“These monumental groups were the voices of the urban community at a pivotal time in our country’s history,” says Carolina Entertainment executive Peter Gallo who is backing the event. “They took us through the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War and they are still relevant and in demand today.”
The Rance Allen group is the groundbreaking group that infused gospel with R&B sensibilities long before it was en vogue. Their R&B flavored songs about faith and brotherhood like “Miracle Worker,” “I Belong To You” and “Ain’t No Need of Crying” crossed over to the R&B charts. Artists ranging from Huey Lewis & the News to BeBe & CeCe Winans have credited Rance Allen Group as a significant influence on their respective musical styles.
The Impressions were the conscience of America during the 1960s. Their songs touched on love, political awareness and social activism with an unmistakable spiritual zeal. Over the years, they have scored #1 hits such as “We’re A Winner,” “It’s All Right,” “Choice of Colors” and “Finally Got Myself Together.” Other signature hits from the period include People Get Ready,” “Gypsy Woman” and “Amen” which was featured in the Oscar winning film, “Lilies of the Field.” The group has influenced recording artists as diverse as Bob Marley & the Wailers and Phil Collins. Today, the group is comprised of Fred Cash, Sam Gooden and Reggie Torian.
Opening the program will be neo-soul gospel artist Cynthia Jones who has enjoyed Urban AC radio airplay with songs such as “Gotta Soul” and “Testimony.” Her new CD “The Journey of Soul” continues to bridge the gap between faith inspired music and the sounds of Maxwell, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. The concert and TV taping takes place Sunday, September 25, 2011 @ 7:00 p.m. at The Progress Energy Center, 2 E. South Street, Raleigh, NC 27601-2337. Discounted tickets are available through August 7th exclusively at (919) 740-7154 or www.carolinaentertainment.org