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Ronald Isley

The longtime lead vocalist for the Isley Brothers, Ronald Isley helmed the influential family group for over half a century, a period spanning not only multiple generations of siblings but also massive cultural shifts that heralded their music's transformation from gritty R&B to Motown soul to blistering funk. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on May 21, 1941, a preteen Ronald joined siblings Rudolph, O'Kelly, and Vernon to form the earliest incarnation of the group. After Vernon's 1955 death in a bicycling accident, Ronald was tapped as the remaining trio's lead vocalist. Early singles stiffed, but "Shout" -- their 1959 debut for RCA -- sold a million copies, despite failing to crack the Top 40. Only after the Isleys left RCA for the Wand label did they have another hit, this time with their seminal 1962 cover of the Top Notes' "Twist and Shout." After recording for their own T-Neck label, they signed to the Motown subsidiary Tamla in 1965, joining forces with the famed Holland-Dozier-Holland writing and production team. The Isleys' first single, the shimmering "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)," was their finest moment yet and barely missed the pop Top Ten.

The group still felt straitjacketed by the Motown assembly line production formula and in 1969, they exited Tamla to resuscitate the T-Neck label. Their next release, the muscular and funky "It's Your Thing," hit number two on the U.S. charts in 1969 and became their most successful record. In 1973, the Isleys scored a massive hit with their rock-funk fusion cover of their own earlier single "Who's That Lady," retitled "That Lady." The album 3 + 3 also proved highly successful, as did 1975's The Heat Is On, which spawned the smash "Fight the Power." As the decade wore on, the group again altered its sound to fit into the booming disco market; while their success on pop radio ran dry, they frequently topped the R&B charts with singles like 1977's "The Pride," 1978's "Take Me to the Next Phase," 1979's "I Wanna Be with You, Pt. 1," and 1980's "Don't Say Goodnight."

In 1986, O'Kelly Isley died of a heart attack and brother Rudolph left to join the ministry soon after; Ronald forged on, however, teaming with younger siblings Ernie and Marvin for a handful of albums, including Smooth Sailin' (produced by his then-future wife Angela Winbush; 1987) Mission to Please (1996), Eternal (2001), Body Kiss (released just after Isley and Winbush's split; 2003), and Baby Makin' Music (2006). He also released a trio of solo works: Here I Am: Isley Meets Bacharach (2003), Mr. I (2010), and This Song Is for You (2013). ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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!
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FOREVER THE KING OF R&B....NO ONE IS BETTER. ...WOULD LOVE TO HEAR DUO WITH CHARLIE WILSON
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The Original
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Love this song
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Great man, great artist
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Baby making time
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This is real music, you don't find music like this no more
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Truly Ol Skool!
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I grew up on the brothers always my boys
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Nothing like when Angela Winbush produced the album's, but they still sound good. Wish she would produce next album.
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MARVA DAVIS ♥♡★★☆★♡♥♥♡♡♥ ° ° □ GREGORY DAVIS
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WOW :) NICE MR,R ISIEY))
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MR. Isley....... . u h m !
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These songs brings back lots of memories when my parents was conceiving us and it was some good love making music i tell ya
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This CD is hot from start to finish. Go get yours today. Dont sleep on this one !
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turn up
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No one sings to me like Ron Isley. I listened to his music when my older sister played his vinyl albums. immediately i fell in love with the Isley Brothers.
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Good voice
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Glad I got to see him the va beach. The man
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Good music
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It's bed time BIG DADDY lets get ready....;)
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He has and will always be the MAN
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He has one of the greatest songs and voices that ever sang
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THE BEST WHO EVER DID IT!
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neureah618
Mr big is the bomb for yall u youngsters he is the king of R&B
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youhavereach e d y o u r l i m i t
I never heard any of his songs before
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youhavereach e d y o u r l i m i t
Ronald is 72 years old
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I REALLY LOVE HIM NOW THAT HE HAS TEAMED UP WITH R KELLY
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I love real grown foke music
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I love all of his music.
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love mr. big
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Loving all ron isley music my speed lol
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I Love everything Ronald Isley Make & Sing..
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the master of R & B
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g a r b a g e
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jayteewill
Obviously this commentary/r e f e r e n c e was written by someone of the younger generation. Specifically that there is no mention of the 'Between the Sheets' album (1983). This album, in my opinion, is synonomous with the Isley Brothers more than any of their fine works.
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HE ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT TO SAY TO SET THE MOOD
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Always the best of the best!!!
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i will alway love the isley brother as well as ronald isley they are old school thats who i grew up listing too they are the best and will always be the best
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Simply classic and stands the test of time.
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lateveac
I love ronald isley nd the isley brothers
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darkgable201 1
Isley brothers music is just a part of your life. They have been here for ever!
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edwinasmith7 3
I always look for good music from the Isley Brothers and usually it is the summer, so I call them my SUMMER MEN!
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TOMMY DICKSON
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I'm a big fan of Ron and the whole Isley clan. My father turned me on to them at a early age and I never swayed. Way to go Ron keep it up and I will keep jammin with you.
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i love you
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YALL PEOPLE DONT NOTHING ABOUT RON ISLEY??????? IM TALKING ABOUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE
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jazzy_g73
my ex told me about this song and he said they don't make them like me no more and wish for another chance.. not bad after 30 years!!!!!
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hot_tx_sun
he is amazing his voice transcends through time.
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cstoney33
Ronald Isley is the man there would be no R-Kelly and no Trey songs without Mr. Biggs !!!
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