Sam Gooden left a legacy of great music, professionalism in Chattanooga and around the world

Staff photo by Tim Barber/ Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, far left, stands in with Fred Cash and Sam Gooden, of Impressions, who stand with Altheida Mayfield, Cheaa Mayfield at the unveiling of the Impressions sign out in front of the Bessie Smith Cultural Center for the dedication on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

I don't remember the year, but I am certain of the date. It was Sept. 14. I know because that's my birthday.

I'd been invited by friend and colleague Chip Chapman to WDEF-TV 12 to watch his taped interview with Fred Cash and Sam Gooden of The Impressions. Chapman knew I knew the guys and thought I could both get some new information and maybe offer something he could use.

After the interview, Chapman surprised me by asking the guys to join him in singing "Happy Birthday" to me. At that very moment, I thought, "Cool. That's nice."

As I got in my car two minutes later, the magnitude of what had just happened hit me. I had just been serenaded on my birthday by Rock and Roll Hall of Famers THE IMPRESSIONS.