It's All Right

Album: The Impressions (1963)
Charted: 4

Songfacts®:

  • Recorded by The Impressions in 1963, this smooth, soulful number was the first of their six #1s on the R&B chart. It climbed to #4 on the Hot 100, the highest chart placing of the group's career.
  • A conversation between lead singer Curtis Mayfield, baritone Sam Gooden, and tenor Fred Cash in between performances in Nashville served as inspiration for the song. The trio had recently teamed up with producer Johnny Pate and were excitedly talking about future possibilities for The Impressions when Fred Cash exclaimed that "it's all right!" Mayfield picked up on the phrase and wrote this tune.
  • Fred Cash told Mojo magazine how Mayfield habitually based songs on different things he heard people say. "Didn't matter how inconsequential the conversation, he always had ideas from it and that never stop," Cash explained. "We'd be on the road, in a hotel, it would be 2 to 3 in the morning, he'll knock on the door, get me over to his room to hear this song. He'd be on the bed in his robe and start strumming the guitar.

    That's when I heard 'It's Alright,' 'Keep On Pushing,' 'People Get Ready.' 'It's Alright,' that came from a saying of mine. I used to say that all the time, you know, 'Curtis, it's alright.'"
  • Movies that have used "It's All Right" include Angels in the Outfield and The Flamingo Kid. The song also plays in the TV miniseries Stephen King's It.
  • Tommy James and the Shondells, Etta James, Huey Lewis & the News, and Steve Winwood have all covered "It's All Right" (Huey Lewis & the News' a cappella version peaked at #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart). Bruce Springsteen performed the song on the final eight shows of his 1992-1993 World Tour, typically as the closing number.

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