I is for the Isley Brothers

The+Isley+Brothers+Greatest+Hits+of+the+Early+YearYou may not think you know the Isley Brothers, siblings out of Cincinnati, but it’s likely that you’ve heard at least some of their music, even if it was performed by someone else.

O’Kelly Jr., Rudolph, Ronald, and Vernon started out in gospel until Vernon’s early death from a bike accident. The remaining trio moved to the New York City area in the late 1950s. Their first significant song was Shout [LISTEN] in 1959, written by the brothers, which only went to #47, but eventually sold a million copies, and was heavily covered.

In a similar vein, Twist and Shout [LISTEN] got all the way to #17 in 1962. It was originally recorded by the Topnotes, and produced by Phil Spector, who was still learning his craft. The Isleys version spurred other covers, notably by a band from Liverpool, England.

The trio spent three or four years with Motown, but like other groups that weren’t developed in house, such as the Spinners, they would fare better elsewhere. They did have one Top 40 hit Continue reading “I is for the Isley Brothers”

Summer Song: Summer Breeze

I had a LOT of Seals and Crofts albums for a while. My college girlfriend even got me to see the duo live in New York City, on the birthday of Bahá’u’lláh, in 1971.

Summer Breeze entered the charts on 9/9/1972, spent 16 weeks on the charts, getting to #6. (S&C had three songs get to #6, including 1973’s Diamond Girl and 1976’s Get Closer), which is as high as they ever charted on Billboard.

Anyway, here’s the record and here’s a live version, with narrative on the scroll which could have been put in the notes.

Part of the info was that the Isley Brothers had a UK hit with the same song in 1976, which you can hear HERE.