Classic Hits & Oldies

For June’s Black Music Month, The Isley Brothers speak about the importance of Black music

Getty Isleybrothers630 062122
Paras Griffin/Getty Images

The Isley Brothers were among the list of stars inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last Thursday, and ahead of their nostalgic performance of past hits at the ceremony, they talked with ABC Audio about the importance of Black music.

“So much of the music, in terms of its foundation, comes from Black artists,” said Ernie Isley, who was joined on the carpet by his brother Ronald Isley.  

“You look at the Isley Brothers catalog — I mean, you could do a party and just play Isley Brothers music because of the songs,” he said. “In addition to having the Isley Brothers, you’d have The Beatles, you’d have Aaliyah, you’d have ‘I love it when you call me Big Poppa,’ you’d have Ice Cube, all sorts of artists that lean on our catalog.”

The Isley Brothers, a soul and R&B family music group from Ohio, has a catalog that spans more than eight decades and features hits like “Twist and Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “That Lady” and “Fight the Power” and top-selling albums like Between the Sheets.

As for which song the duo is particularly proud of producing, Ronald said, “Each and every one of them,” while adding that “Shout,” the band’s first record to make the Billboard Hot 100 chart, is the one most likely to be played at weddings.  

Last week’s induction ceremony saw a performance of “Shout” by Ernie and Ronald, who said it “feels great” to be honored after 65 years of music.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.