Say It's Your Birthday: Ronald Isley

Today is the birthday of Ronald Isley, one of the co-founders (along

with Rudolph and O'Kelly) of the family business that goes by the

name of Isley Brothers. The Isley's have been recording artists since

1957, and they're still at it. Their music has changed over the

decades, but their chief claim to fame remains their secularization of

gospel call-and-response. They found that particular groove on "Shout"

in 1959, and nailed it down three years later when they recorded

"Twist And Shout," later re-popularized by an English quartet known as

The Beatles. The Isleys signed on to record with Tamla, but didn't

stay on the Motown label long, reviving their own T-neck Records in

1969. Twenty years later they were still grinding out hits on the

label, although their first T-Neck smash, "It's Your Thing," remains

their biggest. Brothers have come and gone, as have sidemen--including

Jimi Hendrix at one point--but the band is still under the direction

of more recent branches of the family tree, headed by two younger

brothers , Marvin and Ernie, and cousin Chris Jasper. Happy birthday

to Vince Crane and Tim Lever (Dead or Alive).