A longtime member of the Isley Brothers, singer/songwriter O'Kelly Isley performed with his influential family group for close to four decades, a period spanning not only two 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, OH, on Christmas Day 1937, as a teen O'Kelly joined siblings Rudolph, Ronald, 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 again have another hit, this time with their seminal 1962 cover of the Top ...
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