Two For Tuesday: The Isley Brothers

Ron, Rudy, Kelly and Vernon Isley were a gospel quartet from Cincinnati, Ohio (one of my favorite places in the world). Their father, O’Kelly Isley, was a gospel singer and thought that the boys would be the next Mills Brothers. After a couple of years, they switched to popular music and had their first big hit with “Shout,” the first song here, in 1959. Their next big hit, “Twist and Shout,” reached #17 on Billboard‘s Hot 100 and #2 on the soul and R&B chart, and inspired The Beatles to do a version, rekindling interest in the original. They had a breakthrough in the 1970’s, recording such hits as “Pop That Thang,” “Work To Do” (later recorded by the Average White Band), and “It’s Your Thing.” By now the band included younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and brother-in-law Chris Jasper. They also decided, since so many rock artists had covered their songs, they would cover some of theirs, including Stephen Stills’ “Love The One You’re With,” Eric Burdon and War’s “Spill The Wine,” and the second song here, Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze.” That’s Ernie Isley playing guitar in that one. That was taken from a 2005 DVD, Live in Columbia.

Many of the group have either passed on or stopped traveling, and The Isley Brothers are fronted by Ron and Ernie. They re-established the group in 2011, and are doing quite well.

Sorry this one is a little late, but there’s your Two for Tuesday.