This Day in 1970: Curtis Mayfield Leaves The Impressions
Actually, just as point of clarification, it was on October 1 that Rolling Stone published an article entitled “Impressions Lose Curtis Mayfield,” which would seem to be why this is the date most often attributed to this event, but one presumes that it must’ve technically happened a few days sooner. Otherwise, how would Rolling Stone have known the information to publish it? But October 1 is no better or worse than any other date, since it’s all very depressing no matter when you place the event as having taken place...unless, of course, you consider it to be the official beginning of Mayfield’s solo career, in which case it’s a date to celebrate.
In fairness to Mayfield, he was exhausted. The Impressions had been touring up a storm, and because he was on the road, he wasn’t able to do as much songwriting or production, let alone properly run his own label, Curtom Records. As to whether or not he made the right decision, he didn’t have to wait long to confirm that it was the best of all possible moves: his debut solo album, CURTIS, promptly topped Billboard’s R&B Albums chart.
Plus, there was a happy ending between Mayfield and The Impressions, anyway: although he wasn’t a member of the band any longer, he still continued to write and produce for the band.