Rudolph Isley, a pivotal founding member of the Isley Brothers, known for their memorable contributions to raw rhythm and blues classics like “Shout” and “Twist and Shout,” as well as their funky hits “That Lady” and “It’s Your Thing,” has passed away at the age of 84.
In a statement released by an Isley Brothers publicist, Ronald Isley expressed his heartfelt sentiments, saying, “There are no words to express my feelings and the love I have for my brother. Our family will miss him, but I know he’s in a better place.” Further details about his passing were not immediately available.
Rudolph Isley, a native of Cincinnati, embarked on his musical journey by singing in church alongside his brothers Ronald and O’Kelly. Their breakthrough came in the late 1950s with the gospel-inspired “Shout,” a song that would become iconic and was notably featured in the toga party scene in the film “Animal House.” In the early 1960s, they achieved further success with the high-energy “Twist and Shout,” a song that the Beatles admired so much that they included it as the closing track on their debut album and as the opening song for their legendary 1965 concert at Shea Stadium.
The Isley Brothers’ repertoire also included hits like “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You),” later covered by Rod Stewart, and the Grammy-winning “It’s Your Thing.” In the 1970s, with the addition of younger brothers Ernest and Marvin to the group, they enjoyed even greater success, producing singles such as “That Lady” and “Fight the Power (Part 1)” and achieving platinum-selling albums like “The Heat Is On” and “Go for Your Guns.”