The Voice. Unlike any other, distinctive, clear, soulful. An eternal voice that has been the soundtrack for romance, passion and seduction in every sweet and sexy way. For a remarkable five decades, Ron Isley has been laying it down, as at home as the master of the slow jam as he is as a groove-maker of the first order.
The name "Isley" first graced the Top 50 in 1959 with "Shout," four years after the group was formed in Cincinatti, Ohio. The original recording lineup included Ronald and older brothers O'Kelly and Rudolph (a fourth brother, Vernon, died in the '50s). The '60s began with another anthem, 1962's "Twist And Shout." The Isleys went on to score with "This Old Heart Of Mine" (1966, their first Tamla/Motown hit), and the massive, now classic "It's Your Thing." The R&B Grammy Award-winning #1 R&B/ #2 pop hit single launched their self-owned T-Neck label in 1969, and introduced younger brothers Ernie and Marvin and in-law Chris Jasper into the lineup. The label's first release, "Testify", featured Ernie Isley's protégé, a young man by the name of Jimi Hendrix.
T-Neck went on to chart more than 20 pop titles in the '70s (and nearly twice that many on the R&B side), a litany of hits that included Stephen Stills' "Love The One You're With", "That Lady," Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze," the message-driven "Harvest For The World," funky groove "Fight The Power Part 1," classic slow jam "For the Love Of You," "The Pride," "Take Me To the Next Phase," and "I Wanna Be With You," among the group's many hit singles. From 1973 to 1980, the group scored an amazing two gold and five platinum albums (starting with the groundbreaking 3+3) and the platinum run continued in the '80s with Go All The Way and Between The Sheets, like five of their predecessors, No. 1 R&B chart-topping albums.
The '80s also included hit singles "Don't Say Goodnight (It's Time For Love)" and "Hurry Up And Wait," followed by "Inside You" and "Smooth Sailin' Tonight." In 1986, O'Kelly passed away, and Rudolph subsequently retired to the ministry. The 'Isley Brothers Featuring Ronald Isley' returned in 1990, and all six members were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame two years later. The '90s were marked by a number of collaborations - with Angela Winbush ("Lay Your Troubles Down"), Bobby Womack ("Trying Not To Break Down"), Quincy Jones (on his Q's Jook Joint album, 1995), and the #1 R&B/ #4 Pop smash of 1996, "Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)" with R. Kelly and Def Soul label mate and former background singer Kelly Price.
1996 also brought the Isley Brothers - Ronald, Marvin and Ernie - to Island Records for the first time, on Mission To Please. Contributing as producers and co-writers were Babyface, R. Kelly and Keith Sweat, three of the many artists whose lives and music were inspired by the Isley Brothers, whose lineup now comprises Ronald and Ernie, an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in his own right.
In 2001, signed to Dreamworks Records, the Isleys returned to the charts with the hit album Eternal, featuring the crossover smash "Contagious," written and produced by R. Kelly and signaling the arrival of "Mr. Biggs," Ron's now-famous alter-ego. Two years later, Body Kiss (another collaboration with Kelly) achieved gold status for the Isleys and also in 2003, the group won an American Music Award for Favorite Band, Duo or Group. 1996 recipients of a Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Award, The Isleys received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BET Awards gala in 2004.
2006's aptly-named best-selling set Baby Makin' Music marked the start of the team's association with Island/Def Jam and the following year, Ron and Ernie recorded I'll Be Home For Christmas with super hitmakers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis.