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The Isley Brothers formed in the early 1950s is the quintessential American soul and R&B group hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.
The band was originally formed of the four brothers O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley, Ronald Isley and Vernon Isley until Vernon’s death a few years after the band’s advent. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., the band moved to New York City, U.S. in 1957.
In 1959 The Isley Brothers secured a recording deal with RCA Records and their first glimpse of success came with their fourth single “Shout”, which after charting modestly eventually went on to sell over a million copies. The band’s first top 40 hit came with the Bert Berns song “Twist & Shout” in 1962 reaching No. 17 and the Hot 100 and No. 2 on the R&B chart.
After this success the band moved to New Jersey in the U.S. and enlisted the help of Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar and recorded the song “Testify” and later “Move On Over and Let Me Dance” on their own label T-Neck Records. Neither song charted and the band signed with Motown Records which they left in 1968.
The Isley Brothers’ biggest success came in February 1969 when the brothers signed a distribution deal with Buddha Records, the song “It’s Your Thing” charted at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and No.1 on the R&B chart, and even won the band a Grammy Award.
Shortly after, younger brothers of the band Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley and brother-in-law Chris Jasper added their own music impetus to the group on the 1971 album “Givin’ It Back.” With Ernie’s notable hard-rock guitar leads the brothers mixed notable rock songs with funk, gospel and Motown elements, and the younger brothers became official members in 1973 scoring hits with covers of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” and Stephen Stills’ “Love the One You’re With”.
The 1973 album “3+3” which featured the fusion track “Who’s That Lady” later renamed to “That Lady Pt. 1” proved a massive hit as did the 1975 follow up album “The Heat Is On” featuring the track “Fight the Power, Pt. 1”. The band’s ability to adopt their sound with the times was made obvious with their late 1970s disco induced tracks like “The Pride”, “Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 1” and “I Wanna Be With You Pt. 1”. The Isley Brother’s continued to be at the forefront of music until 1984 when Ernie, Marvin and Chris Jasper left the group to start Isley Jasper Isley with which they topped the R&B charts with the track “Caravan of Love”.
In 1996 The Isley Brothers consisting of Ronnie, Marvin and Ernie released the album “Mission to Please” and later without Marvin due to health complications the 2001 album “Eternal”. Ronald under the alter-ego Mr. Biggs released the album “Body Kiss” in 2003 and “Baby Makin’ Music” in 2006.