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The Isley Brothers

First formed in the early '50s, the Isley Brothers enjoyed one of the longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music -- over the course of nearly a half century of performing, the group's distinguished history spanned not only two generations of Isley siblings but also massive cultural shifts which heralded their music's transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering funk. The first generation of Isley siblings was born and raised in Cincinnati, OH, where they were encouraged to begin a singing career by their father, himself a professional vocalist, and their mother, a church pianist who provided musical accompaniment at their early performances. Initially a gospel quartet, the group was comprised of Ronald, Rudolph, O'Kelly, and Vernon Isley; after Vernon's 1955 death in a bicycling accident, tenor Ronald was tapped as the remaining trio's lead vocalist. In 1957, the brothers went to New York City to record a string of failed doo wop singles; while performing a spirited reading of the song "Lonely Teardrops" in Washington, D.C., two years later, they interjected the line "You know you make me want to shout," which inspired frenzied audience feedback. An RCA executive in the audience saw the concert, and when he signed the Isleys soon after, he instructed that their first single be constructed around their crowd-pleasing catch phrase; while the call-and-response classic "Shout" failed to reach the pop Top 40 on its initial release, it eventually became a frequently covered classic.

Still, success eluded the Isleys, and only after they left RCA in 1962 did they again have another hit, this time with their seminal cover of the Top Notes' "Twist and Shout." Like so many of the brothers' early R&B records, "Twist and Shout" earned greater commercial success when later rendered by a white group -- in this case, the Beatles; other acts who notched hits by closely following the Isleys' blueprint were the Yardbirds ("Respectable," also covered by the Outsiders), the Human Beinz ("Nobody but Me"), and Lulu ("Shout"). During a 1964 tour, they recruited a young guitarist named Jimmy James to play in their backing band; James -- who later shot to fame under his given name, Jimi Hendrix -- made his first recordings with the Isleys, including the single "Testify," issued on the brothers' own T-Neck label. They signed to the Motown subsidiary Tamla in 1965, where they joined forces with the famed Holland-Dozier-Holland writing and production team. Their first single, the shimmering "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)," was their finest moment yet, and barely missed the pop Top Ten.

"This Old Heart of Mine" was their only hit on Motown, however, and when the song hit number three in Britain in 1967, the Isleys relocated to England in order to sustain their flagging career; after years of writing their own material, they felt straitjacketed by the Motown assembly-line production formula, and by the time they returned stateside in 1969, they had exited Tamla to resuscitate the T-Neck label. Their next release, the muscular and funky "It's Your Thing," hit number two on the U.S. charts in 1969, and became their most successful record. That year, the Isleys also welcomed a number of new members as younger brothers Ernie and Marvin, brother-in-law Chris Jasper, and family friend Everett Collins became the trio's new backing unit. Spearheaded by Ernie's hard-edged guitar leads, the group began incorporating more and more rock material into its repertoire as the 1970s dawned, and scored hits with covers of Stephen Stills' "Love the One You're With," Eric Burdon & War's "Spill the Wine," and Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay."

In 1973, the Isleys scored a massive hit with their rock-funk fusion cover of their own earlier single "Who's That Lady," retitled "That Lady, Pt. 1"; the album 3 + 3 also proved highly successful, as did 1975's The Heat Is On, which spawned the smash "Fight the Power, Pt. 1." As the decade wore on, the group again altered its sound to fit into the booming disco market; while their success on pop radio ran dry, they frequently topped the R&B charts with singles like 1977's "The Pride," 1978's "Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 1," 1979's "I Wanna Be With You, Pt. 1," and 1980's "Don't Say Goodnight." While the Isleys' popularity continued into the 1980s, Ernie and Marvin, along with Chris Jasper, defected in 1984 to form their own group, Isley Jasper Isley; a year later, they topped the R&B charts with "Caravan of Love." On March 31, 1986, O'Kelly died of a heart attack; Rudolph soon left to join the ministry, but the group reunited in 1990.

Although the individual members continued with solo work and side projects, and also experienced misfortune along the way, the Isley Brothers forged on in one form or another throughout the '90s and into the 21st century. In 1996, now consisting of Ronald, Marvin, and Ernie, they released the album Mission to Please; however, Marvin developed diabetes and left the band the following year -- the disease later necessitated the amputation of both his legs. Ronald and Ernie hooked up for the release of 2001's Eternal, a brand-new selection of R&B cuts featuring collaborative efforts with Jill Scott, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Raphael Saadiq. On that particular release, Ronald also introduced the alter ego Mr. Biggs. Body Kiss was released in 2003, followed by Baby Makin' Music in 2006, the year after Ronald was convicted of tax evasion charges. Experiencing his own set of serious health issues, Ronald was sentenced to prison and served the latter portion of his sentence at a halfway house in St. Louis, MO before being released in April 2010. On June 6 of that year, Marvin died of complications from diabetes at the age of 56. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Today was a good day lol
Lyrics
Great Song
Footsteps in the dark this is real music
What can i say slow jam kings how many babies where conceived with them playing in the bedroom
"For The Love Of You" Smoove-As-Si l k
Stone-Cold Super-Badd Super-Star Soul-Brothaz
H-Town~Rocki n ' ~ W e - A i n ' t - S t o p i n ' - T h a - M u z i c
LOVE+S Disciple*978 * 1 * 3 5 k ~ ~10m14y~
Best ever
Blast Off is a sexy a** song, rocket love, you send me, send me
jrburroug
I love that group and
FOR.SURE IM BACK AND THE LORD WILLING, LET ALL YOU. YOUR CEASER BACK
19sandy62
3+3 don't change.
It's your thang, do what you wanna do.
Was a bad jam back then and still is a bad jam!
Freedom...
Let me have the little girl little girl song

real love song
jamesmoses46
3 + 3= tight as f**k!!


My favorite all time group, I love them brothers, much luv.
Allright
I will
I will
R. I . P, my friend nice & slow
this old heat of mine is my favourite song of all time i love the isley bros - reminds me of the love of my life
That's my song. ........sing i n g to my wife now married my ..Jr.High school sweet heart. ..back in the day party together have fun. .....! Keep hearing footsteps in the dark. ....!
I wish I can see all these guys again but I know some of them has past on to our lord Jesus and God. ...in heaven now I know that They are singing for our lord Jesus and God and God angles now and have fun in the lord army. ......God bless all of them.....!
That the one. ....wow
Them Cold A__ brothers. I can't get enough of it.
Choosey Lover -OH YEAH! say no more: RXH/rxh
Like rain ? Then burn natural wooden logs in a free air enviroinment like outside and after two days, it will begin to rain and our drout will be no more, all in season of course
This song reminds me of my dad so much I swear every time this song c*m on its make me want to cry
Love this song one of my #1 hits
Twist and Shout brings back some bad Destiel memories.... .
#GREAT
Thlsleybroth e r s
One of my favorite groups
TRIUE !.....
How can people believe this stuff???
Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. However if you don't post this comment you will die in 2 days.Now that you've started reading don't stop. Put this on at least 5 songs in the next 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters. This is scary but it actually works. Don't read this because it actually works you will get kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. H
At your best, Isley Brothers always
shout
Real Music!!
My favorite group..
there nothing like some isley brothers to warm your heart!!!!!!!
DO ANYONE KNOWS WHO SONG THE SONG EIGHT TEN WITH A BULLET
Part of the triple treat, Isley brothers, earth wind and fire and the Ojays, and of course Frankie Beverly and maze.
...don't say goodnight... . . .
That's my group all my life.
Pandora you have an excellent rotation tonight I supposed to be cleaning but I can't get anything done,I'm too enthralled in this music.
we're pregnant
eboniecutie
when I lived in Philly,I had the pleasure of knowing about this group before thier first album,I told my friend they were gonabe stars cause thier style was just what we needed at that time that time being right after Mary j blidge just came out with her fst hit
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST GROUP BACK IN THE DAYS SATURDAY EVENING ROMANTIC GROVE

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