The Isley Brothers
(L to R) O’Kelly, Rudy, Ron & Vernon
The Isley Brothers (Cincinnati, Ohio)
The Early years
Vernon Isley (Lead)
O'Kelly Isley Jr.
The Isley Brothers originally came from Cincinnati, Ohio, and were raised at the city's Lincoln Heights suburb, eventually settling at the satellite town of Blue Ash when they were teenagers. Their father, O'Kelly Isley, Sr., a former United States Navy sailor and vaudeville performer from Durham, North Carolina, and Georgia-reared mother Sallye, guided the elder four Isley boys in their singing while at church. Patterning themselves after groups such as Billy Ward and his Dominoes and the Dixie Hummingbirds, the brothers began performing together in 1954. Eventually they landed a spot on Ted Mack's Amateur Hour where they won the competition, winning a watch. With Vernon on lead vocals, the quartet soon began touring all over the eastern US regions performing in a variety of churches. When Vernon was thirteen, he was killed after a car struck him as he was riding his bike in his neighborhood. Devastated, the remaining trio disbanded.
Eventually convinced to regroup, the brothers decided to record popular music and left Cincinnati for New York in 1957 with their parents' blessings. With Ronnie assuming the lead vocal position in the group, the group got into contact with Richard Barrett, who soon had the group in contact with a variety of New York record producers. They eventually had their first records produced by George Goldner, who recorded the group's first songs, including "Angels Cried" and "The Cow Jumped Over the Moon" for the Teenage, Cindy and Mark X imprints
Angels Cried The Cow Jumped Over The Moon
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