Soul music fans who turned on the radio in the 1960s and ‘70s were bound to hear a song from the influential group, The Isley Brothers. The world-renowned band has released both ballads and funk anthems that have now shaped generations of music.
On Wednesday, Ronald and Ernie Isley joined the likes of Maya Angelou, Stan Musial, Nelly and other St. Louis celebrities with their addition to the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The brothers were honored at a ceremony outside of The Pageant.
“I’m glad to be amongst some of the great people: Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Chuck Berry. You know, it’s wonderful,” Ronald Isley said.
Both brothers moved to St. Louis in 1998, though the two originally hail from Cincinnati. Ronald Isley said they go to church in the St. Louis area. He also said his son attends school in St. Louis.
The group became internationally known in 1959 when they released their first gold single, “Shout.” The song became an international hit and has been featured in various television shows and films. The group continued to release popular songs for decades with “That Lady,” “At Your Best (You Are Love),” “Twist and Shout” and more.
“We’ve been able to change when the musical terrain changed,” Ernie Isley said. “Not knowing that when technology came along and MTV, hip-hop, rap, that there was a whole other group of artists that were going to be leaning on our catalog.”
Those songs inspired the music of artists such as Aaliyah, Kendrick Lamar, Ice Cube, Frank Ocean and many more. Ernie Isley said the brothers never saw their music having such a large impact on modern music. Ronald said they still listen to new musicians to this day.
“We enjoy the music,” Ronald Isley said. “We like Jay-Z, Beyonce and all of the people that come along.”
Both brothers said they aren’t finished with music and are working on a new album at the moment. Ronald Isley said he even spoke with Carlos Santana about the possibility of new music. The Isley Brothers and Santana released “Power of Peace” in 2017.
“We’re working on one now, and I’m not going to tell you anything about it because I don’t want nothing to get out,” Ronald Isley said.
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