Bands From Ohio

Bands From Ohio - The Isley BrothersDon’t Know The Isley Brothers? Then You’re Missing One of the Best Bands from Ohio

From do-wop to funk, The Isley Brothers lived and breathed music. This versatile group played successfully for more than 60 years and spanned two generations of brothers.

“The Isley Brothers enjoyed one of the longest, most influential, and most diverse careers in the pantheon of popular music,” Jason Ankeny writes on All Music.com 

From Humble Ohio Beginnings

Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Isley Brothers grew up to become funky American Soul & R&B music legends. Their music topped the Billboard 200 charts for long stretches at time since their start in the early 1950s. They reached the Top 40 charts in six separate decades and their most recent release in 2006 marked their ninth album to break onto the Top 200.

Encourage by their musical father and mother to pursue a singing career, the original Isley brothers from Cincinnati were Ronald, Rudolph, O’Kelly, and Vernon. Unfortunately after Vernon’s untimely death in 1955, Ronald took charge as the lead vocalist.

Over the years, The Isley Brothers went through a lot of changes. An eclectic group of musicians, they played many genres from rock ‘n roll to doo-wop, funk to hip-hop soul among others.

In 1957, the band left Ohio to record a string of doo-wop singles in New York City. Though these singles didn’t afford the group a breakthrough they kept trying.

“You Know You Make Me Want to Shout”

Bands From Ohio - Shout-isleysWhen they interjected these lyrics into a live performance of “Lonely Teardrops”, record companies took notice. Shortly after, RCA signed The Isley Brother in 1957 and encouraged them to use the crowd pleasing catch phrase in their new single.

Although their classic single “Shout” didn’t reach the Top 40 on its initial release with RCA, it has since become a frequently covered classic making The Isley Brothers one of the most listened to bands from Ohio.

After leaving RCA in the early 1960’s, The Isley Brothers released a cover of The Top Notes’ “Twist and Shout” which gave them another hit song. From their success with these hits, The Isley Brothers’ singing style went on to influences bands like The Beatles, The Yardbirds, and Lulu.

The Isley Brothers and Jimi Hendrix

In 1964, the Isley’s hired a young guitarist to play in their backing band. Little did this Ohio band know that they were giving the later famous Jimi Hendrix, his firsts opportunity to make recordings.

With Jimi Hendrix on backing guitar, the Isley’s recorded “Testify” which was released on their own T-Neck label.

A Motown Hit

The Isley Brothers signed with a subsidiary of Motown called Tamla in the mid-1960s where they worked with results-focused Motown writing and production team.

When they released their single “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You), The Isley Brothers achieved their biggest career success to-date as the song approached the Top Ten. After the song was widely accepted in Britain, the brothers hopped the pond to play to their adoring audience.

Because they felt constrained by the Motown song production formula, the Isley’s left Tamla and rebuilt their T-Neck record label.

Bringing the 1970’s Funk

In 1969, The Isley Brothers released “It’s Your Thing” which skyrocketed to number two on the U.S. charts. As the Ohio band adapted and evolved their musical style to the new era, the group achieved success unlike they had seen before. The band also welcomed younger brothers Ernie and Marvin as well as brother-in-law Chris Jasper and friend Everett Collins as the original singers’ backing band.

Incorporating more rock material into their recordings, the band scored several hits by covering material from Stephen Stills and Bob Dylan.

When the band gave their earlier single “Who’s That Lady” a rock-funk fusion makeover and renamed it “That Lady, Pt. 1”, they scored a popular hit. Throughout the 70s the band was very successful and even began to evolve their sound to fit the emerging disco market. In this decade they were featured both on the pop and R&B charts.

The Isley’s in The Modern Era

Although the Isley’s popularity continued into the 1980s, the band faced several challenges including members leaving the band and O’Kelly dying from a heart attack. Despite these setbacks, the band reunited in 1990.

In 1996 the Ohio band released “Mission to Please” but other tragedies struck. Marvin developed diabetes and left the band the following year. Unfortunately Marvin passed away from complications from diabetes in 2010.

The band played on. In 2003 “Body Kiss” was released followed by “Baby Makin’ Music” in 2006. In that year, Ronald began serving a prison sentence for tax evasion charges for which he was released four years later.

One of the most successful bands from Ohio, The Isley Brothers enjoyed a noteworthy career that spanned six decades. Because they evolved to the changing times, the group survived and thrived throughout the world’s musical ups and downs. Their music lives on sharing a little bit of Ohio to everyone who listens.

What are your favorite bands from Ohio?

Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker

Danny Todd
Danny Todd – Founding Member of “Like the Record”I was an army brat growing up. When I was about 13, my family and I were stationed in Germany. That’s where I first met a high school senior who lived downstairs. His name was John Door – a professional jazz drummer who would practice every day. And I wanted to play just like him … I wanted it badly!We soon became friends and he began teaching me with theory reading percussion music (which I hated practicing, but knew I had to in order to progress). I soon started on snare drum in the school marching band then moved on to stage band and orchestra. My high school band mates and I formed numerous groups and played at our high school dances every Friday night. Those were the days!
Danny Todd

@liketherecord

Representing professional #musicians in the Cleveland, Northeast Ohio areas. #ClevelandWeddingBands & #DJ Combo Packages. #ClevelandBands Call: (216)-309-2009
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/GM79vjLjz0 Should I Cycle Carbs on Keto? - 4 weeks ago
Danny Todd
Danny Todd
About Danny Todd

Danny Todd – Founding Member of “Like the Record”

I was an army brat growing up. When I was about 13, my family and I were stationed in Germany. That’s where I first met a high school senior who lived downstairs. His name was John Door – a professional jazz drummer who would practice every day. And I wanted to play just like him … I wanted it badly!

We soon became friends and he began teaching me with theory reading percussion music (which I hated practicing, but knew I had to in order to progress). I soon started on snare drum in the school marching band then moved on to stage band and orchestra. My high school band mates and I formed numerous groups and played at our high school dances every Friday night. Those were the days!

We Would Love To Hear From You

*