Rudolph Isley, a founding member of the Isley Brothers, who helped produce raw rhythm and blues classics such as “Shout” and “Twist and Shout” and great hits such as “That Lady” and “It’s Your Thing,” has died at the age of 84.
“There are no words to describe my feelings and my love for my brother. Our family will miss him. But I know he’s in a better place,” Ronald Isley said in a statement released Thursday by publisher Isley Brothers. Further details were not immediately available.
Rudolph Isley, a Cincinnati native, began singing in church with brothers Ronald and O’Kelly (another sibling, Vernon, died at age 13) and was still in his teens when they broke through with “Shout,” a secularized gospel song in the late 1950s. The madness later immortalized in the toga party scene in “Animal House.” The Isleys struck again in the early 1960s with the equally stirring “Twist and Shout,” which the Beatles liked so much that they used it as the closing song of their debut album and opened their famous concert at Shea Stadium in 1965.
The Isleys’ other hits include “This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)” and the Grammy-winning “It’s Your Thing”, later covered by Rod Stewart. After younger brothers Ernest and Marvin joined the group in the 1970s, they achieved even greater success with singles such as “That Lady” and “Fight the Power (Part 1)” and million-selling albums such as “The Heat Is On.” and “Go to Your Guns.”
Rudolph Isley left the band to become a Christian minister in 1989, three years after O’Kelly Isley’s sudden death. He was among the Isleys inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
The headline of this story has been corrected to show that Rudolph Isley died, not Ronald Isley.