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Gerald Levert & Eddie Levert Sr.

Eddie Levert sang lead on classic million-selling hits by Philly soul group the O'Jays. They were a part of the artist roster of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records. Levert could handle both emotion-soaked ballads, sweat-inducing dance numbers, and thought-provoking message songs with equal aplomb. The singer also co-wrote songs for the O'Jays and others: the heart-achingly poignant radio-aired LP track "Help (Somebody Please)" from their platinum LP So Full of Love; "Don't Walk Away Mad" and "Out in the Real World" from from My Favorite Person; "Just Another Lonely Night," a 1985 hit from Love Fever; "I Like to See Us Get Down" and "Keep on Loving Me" from Emotionally Yours; "Lies"; "Lonely Drifter"; "My Love Don't Come Easy," a hit for PIR labelmate Jean Carn; and "Wind Beneath My Wings," a duet between Eddie Levert and his son, Gerald Levert, on the 1995 CD Father and Son.

Eddie Levert and group member Walter Williams, both Canton, OH, natives, first met in elementary school, then formed a gospel duo. While both were students at McKinley High School, they started the Triumphs with fellow students William Powell (born around 1941, died May 26, 1977), Bobby Massey, and Bill Isles. The group was signed to King Records and renamed the Mascots (not to be confused with the Swedish 1960s rock group) by label president Syd Lathan, recording four sides in 1961.

The group then came under the mentorship of Cleveland, OH, radio DJ Eddie O'Jay. Because of his help, they changed the group's name to the O'Jays. The DJ introduced the group to Detroit-based producer Don Davis who recorded "Miracles" on the Daco label, which was then picked up by New York label Apollo Records. Eddie O'Jay connected the group with former Dootones member H.B. Barnum. Barnum, an arranger of note in the years to come (O.C. Smith's gold single "Little Green Apples"), smoothed out the group's harmonies and helped to get them a deal with Imperial Records. Their first charting single was "Lonely Drifter," which charted at number 93 R&B in fall 1963. Their debut album, Comin' Through, was issued in November 1965. Switching to Bell Records, the O'Jays got their first Top Ten R&B single with "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)" (number eight R&B in late 1967) produced by George Kerr. In 1967, Minit Records issued an album on the group, Soul Sounds.

Around 1969, the O'Jays were performing at New York's Apollo Theater, part of a concert bill that included the Intruders who were riding high off the million-seller "Cowboys and Girls," "(Love Is Like A) Baseball Game," and "Slow Drag." They suggested that their producers Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff listen to the O'Jays. Signing to Gamble & Huff's Neptune label distributed by Chicago's Chess Records, their first single for the Philadelphia-based producers, "One Night Affair," went to number 15 R&B in the summer of 1969. After Chess folded, Gamble & Huff set up Philadelphia International Records and secured a distribution deal with CBS Records. After some negotiations and counter offers from Motown and Holland/Dozier/Holland's Invictus label, the O'Jays signed with PIR. Their first single written by Huff, Gene McFadden, and John Whitehead, the million-selling "Backstabbers" went to number one R&B and number three pop on Billboard's charts in summer 1972. It was on the LP Backstabbers (number three R&B, number ten pop, fall 1972), which also went gold and yielded "Time to Get Down" (number two R&B for two weeks) and another gold number one R&B single, "Love Train," from early 1973. The classic ballad "Sunshine," written by Bunny Sigler and Phil Hurtt, was a popular radio-aired LP track.

The hits kept coming: Ship Ahoy held the number one R&B spot for five weeks in late 1973 and included the singles "Put Your Hands Together," "For the Love of Money," "You Got Your Hooks in Me," "Now That We Found Love" -- later a hit for Third World -- "Don't Call Me Brother" -- later covered by Instant Funk on Kinky, and the environmentally themed "The Air I Breathe." The O'Jays Live in London went gold and held the number two R&B spot for two weeks and included the single "Sunshine." Survival went gold and held the number one R&B spot for two weeks in spring 1975 and included the singles "Give the People What They Want," "Let Me Make Love to You" b/w "Survival," "Where Did We Go Wrong," "How Time Flies," and "Never Break Us Up." Family Reunion went platinum and held the number one R&B and number seven pop spot in late 1975 and included the singles "Livin' for the Weekend" b/w "Stairway to Heaven" -- not the Led Zeppelin favorite -- and "I Love Music." Message in the Music went gold gold and hit the number three R&B spot in late 1976 and included the singles "Message in ihe Music," "Darlin Darlin' Baby (Sweet Tender Love)," "My Prayer," "Desire Me," and the interesting "I Swear I Love No One but You." So Full of Love went platinum and held the number one R&B spot for three weeks and hit number six pop in spring 1978. It included the singles "Use Ta Be My Girl" and the extremely funky "Strokety Stroke."

The O'Jays left Philadelphia International Records and signed with EMI-Manhattan Records where Levert and Williams began co-writing and producing their tracks. Their EMI debut, Let Me Touch You, went to number three R&B and boasted "Lovin' You," the number one R&B hit from summer 1987. The O'Jays continued to perform in front of enthusiastic audiences well into the year 2000.

Eddie Levert-related releases are Carlito's Way, Patti Labelle's Live! One Night Only, Levert's Bloodline, Down in the Delta and Have a Merry Chess Christmas. Something to Talk About, recorded with son Gerald, was released in 2007. ~ Ed Hogan, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Awesome voice sounds just like his father fantastic voice
mhopkinsbrow n
forever true, in love body and soul. Keep the hits coming
mhopkinsbrow n
Eddie we were your opening act at the Black Expo in Oakland, Ca. Still going strong.!!!!! ! ! , , M a r y
mhopkinsbrow n
Ever time
mhopkinsbrow n
I "I Got Your Back". Always!!!!!! ! " " "
Love you Mary
mhopkinsbrow n
Always & for ever
mhopkinsbrow n
A father and son duo's fabulous. Gerald and Eddie voices compliments' each other's. Brilliant, and you think it's Eddie singing,
mhopkinsbrow n
When I hear this song. It remains me. When my husband actually came through the wall. I saw mouse. I knew that he was all and more I prayed for. Now that his home. I ask God, will I ever fall in Love again. I need to be loved and be his Queen and he my King!!!!! I will be rich in L,O.V.E, Building our fortune together. Now that's real love!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ¡!!Love u Geatld &: and the O'jays. Mary
mhopkinsbrow n
This song is so beautiful. Song by a father and son that have so much love for each other Eddie and Gerald this song will for ever be in everyone's hearts . Thank You you for bringing back what family is all about love love love. Mary
mhopkinsbrow n
Never forgotten your music will ever in my heart Gerald
Long live the Leverts
mhopkinsbrow n
Every song that I have heard recorded by, The O'jays, Gerald, Sean it just wrings tears to my eyes,,why I live but in my heart I feel love joy and happiness that you have given nd shine. Also I want to thank you
mhopkinsbrow n
Gerald and Levert. . This was our songs favorite song because he always had my back and I had his until the day he passed thank you for a beautiful love song Gerald and Eddie. Mary
I love Gerald
Am proud of u Gerald even in your death.
swest352
Loving and missing this man and his beautiful, soulful voice.....
Eddie has been my flame since he was with the O'Jays and when Gerald came along, I married a Gerald feeling that would be the closest I would get to Gerald Levert. My husband and I is divorced and Gerald is deceased, so there's no other Gerald for me.
barnes-c
this song says so much and the lyrics are really unexplainabl e this is the one Lord your angels orchestrated this!!!!!!!! !
etranyatta
IM loving it ... This song IZ THA jamm
Best song l love it
erica061711
Brings Me To Tears Everytime.. miss my dad
This jam take me back
I miss my favorite singer and his handsome face
Missing Gerald
Miss you, you were one in a million, rest in peae
Tears for missing u gerald.
TRULY MISSED LOVE U GERALD,LOVE UR SONGS UR LEDGENCY IS STILL GOING STRONG THROUGH UR FATHER EDDIE.GOD BLESS
The apple truly did not fall far from the tree with this Father and Son duo. Two of the most powerful yet soulful voices in america. Their songs will never grow old because they can address any time and situation in a person's life. RIP Gerald...
R.I.P Gerald Levert will be miss
carmenmita
these men are so handsome, love your songs
gerald levert, luther vandross,ted d y pendergrass, the isley brothers, levert fathe and son -these is the jam.
my song it just make u feel so good insideand it make u wonder about life all to it selfifget right down to the point so remember when u down listen to this song and close ur eyes and listern to the song not s uch of the music.
OMG this man and his father have the voice that keep your spirit right you know that it is going to just be alright. Gerald rest in peace! Your there with our almighty and your music lives on you are a legend right aside your father. All I can say awesome!MRH
jihad_shabaz z
From Allah we come and to Allah we return
I love you both. Eddie your son was one of the best. I'm sure you feel the same way.
What a combination! I just love them both.


agraham91
The Teddy Bear died much to young. He was truely great, Eddie I know he did you proud
play more gerald levert & marvin gaye
I love this father son singing together they do it with so much love shared you can feel it in the songs. Wind beneath my sail it makes me cry everytime
this is the best record ever it seems as if he new he would not live long and he let his father know his love for him in the songs from this record
want to hear anything about gerald and eddie levert
though Gearld Lavert has gone to his resting spot he still holds it down<

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