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Sunday, 29 September 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN GUITARIST, DRUMMER, SINGER, SONGWRITER " ERNIE ISLEY " A VETERAN R&B SINGER : GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY Guitarist/drummer/singer/songwriter Ernie Isley infused the Isley Brothers with a Jimi Hendrix -like virtuosity that took the veteran R&B group into a more rockin' direction, earning 11 gold and five platinum albums. Later as a member of Isley/Jasper/Isley, he sang lead on the R&B hit "Look the Other Way," and scored a number one R&B hit with "Caravan of Love." Much of his work can be heard on The Ultimate Isley Brothers, issued by Sony Music Entertainment on October 17, 2000.
Born March 7, 1952, in Cincinnati, OH, Ernie grew up watching his older brothers Ronald, Rudolph, and O'Kelly have such hits as "Shout," "Twist and Shout," and "This Old Heart of Mine." As a teen, he began learning to play the drums. Around this time, he and his brothers moved to New Jersey. After hearing Jose Feliciano's 1968 classic, "Light My Fire," he picked up the guitar.
While visiting a sister who lived nearby, keyboardist Chris Jasper looked up his former Cincinnati neighbor. Every summer he and Ernie had gotten together and jammed. Another young Isley, Marvin Isley, joined them on bass, and the duo became a trio. The teenagers patterned themselves after the Young-Holt Unlimited and covered jazz, pop, and Motown. While they'd be in the basement rehearsing, the other Isleys would come down and encourage them, suggesting they go into the studio. This led to them recording some demo tracks with Ronald Isley singing lead.
In 1969, the Isleys got a custom label deal with Epic Records. The It's Your Thing album was the first release on the T-Neck (a moniker derived from their homebase of Teaneck, NJ), which included the million-selling title cut. Completing music studies at C.W. Post College in Long Island, NY, Ernie joined the Isley Brothers. He made his debut on their 3+3 LP issued in summer 1973. The album yielded "Who's That Lady" and a cover of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze." That was the beginning of a string of hit albums that spanned 13 years.