The Isley Brothers

Genres: Doo Wop Funk Holiday & Seasonal Pop / Rock R&B / Soul
Tags: soul funk motown rhythm and blues rnb Powered by AudioScrobbler
Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Three brothers, O’Kelly (25 December 1937, d. 31 March 1986), Rudolph (b. 1 April 1939) and Ronald Isley (b. 21 May 1941), began singing gospel in their home-town of Cincinnati, USA, in the early 50s, accompanied by their brother Vernon, who died in a car crash around 1957. Moving to New York the following year, the trio issued one-off singles before being signed by the RCA Records production team, Hugo And Luigi. The Isleys had already developed a tight vocal unit, with Rudolph and O’Kelly supporting Ronald’s strident tenor leads in a call-and-response style taken directly from the church. The self-composed ‘Shout’ - with a chorus based on an ad-libbed refrain that had won an enthusiastic response in concert - epitomized this approach, building to a frantic crescendo as the brothers screamed out to each other across the simple chord changes. ‘Shout’ sold heavily in the black market, and has since become an R&B standard, but...

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