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Sat, 04.01.1939

Rudolph Isley, Singer and Lyricist born.

Rudolph Isley

*Rudolph Isley was born on this date in 1939. He was a Black Rhythm and Blues singer and lyricist.

Rudolph "Rudy" Bernard Isley was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Isley began singing in church at a young age. By his teen years, he was singing as a member of The Isley Brothers with Kelly, Ronnie, and Vernon. 1957, following Vernon's death, the remaining three elder Isleys moved to New York to seek a recording deal, later recording for smaller labels until landing a deal with RCA Records in 1959, where they wrote, recorded, and released their first significant recording, "Shout."

Isley married Elaine Jasper in 1958. At first, Isley and his family settled at a house he bought in Teaneck, New Jersey, where they lived for ten years. Following "Shout," the brothers recorded for other labels with modest success, with exceptions including the top 40 hit "Twist and Shout" and the Motown hit "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)." In the 1960s, Rudy and his brothers founded the T-Neck Records label to promote their recordings.

Following their split with Motown, they reactivated the label and scored a Grammy-winning smash with "It's Your Thing" in 1969. While Ron Isley was the prominent lead singer of the group, Rudy did record a few lead vocals on some of The Isley Brothers' songs following the reactivation of T-Neck. Rudy was known for wearing hats and fur-attired clothing and for carrying a cane. Rudy would share lead vocals with his brothers Ron and Kelly on hits such as "Fight the Power" and "Livin' in the Life ."In 1986, Rudy's eldest brother Kelly suddenly died of a heart attack in his sleep.

After recording Smooth Sailin' and Spend the Night albums, Rudy Isley left the group and the music industry for good in 1989 to be a Christian minister. Isley was inducted as a member of the Isleys to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. He and his wife were long-term residents of Otisville, New York, before moving to Olympia Fields near Chicago in 2013, buying R. Kelly's former house to be near their children and grandchildren. Rudolph Isley died from an apparent heart attack at his home on October 11, 2023, at the age of 84. 

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