“Summer Breeze!”

This #ThrowbackThursday the Hive will reflect on a group that has captivated listeners for several generations and is still going strong today.  The Isley Brothers hail from Cincinnati, Ohio and were formed in the 1950’s as a gospel trio.  The group consisted of brother O’Kelly Jr., Rudolph, and Ronald Isley.  Following  their brother Vernon’s death in the late 50’s the Isley brothers switched to a soul style and relocated to NYC where they would gain prominence with their hit single “Shout” in 1959.  This single went on to sell a million copies and made the boys a household name.  The Isleys would later earn their first Grammy with their wildly popular “It’s Your Thing.”

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Original Isleys

1973 saw the elements of rock and funk be included in the musical stylings of The Isleys as well as the inclusion of the younger siblings, Ernie and Marvin Isley, along with brother-in-law Chris Jasper.  For the next decade up until 1983 the band recorded several top selling records together with the original trio as the vocalists and the new members on the instruments.  The group separated that year as Ernie, Marvin and Chris formed another band.  Following the death of oldest brother O’Kelly in’86,  Rudolph’s commitment to the Christian ministry, and Marvin’s medical issues the Isley brothers would form again as a duo of Ronald and Ernie Isley.  The “new” Isleys would go on to put out two successful albums and a top 20 hit with “Contagious.”

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Isley Brothers today

The Isley’s brothers storied career has earned them honors from several musical institutions including their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1992.  As time goes by this family of talented brothers will always be remembered simply as legendary.

– Batiste