There are more 1969 Grammy Awards left to discuss then there is month left in February :-).
I had a hard time deciding which award winning song to close the month out with, but finally decided on one of my favorite dance tunes of the Sixties -sung by one of my favorite tenors of all time — The Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing” which won the 1969 Grammy for Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal Performance By a Group or Duo.
The brothers had been around as a gospel quartet ever since the fifties. The group was made up of brother Ronald Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Jr., Rudolph Isley and Vernon Isley. When Vernon passed after a bicycle accident in 1955, Ronald became the new lead singer.
From the RCA label with their soulful sounds (“the classics “Shout” and “Twist & Shout”), to their own label T-Neck, to Motown’s Tamla label, and finally back to T-neck the brothers had their hard-knocks on the road to Grammy Gold.
Like many others in the Motown stable, The Isley Brothers were tired of the neglect they received at Motown while Gordy concentrated on making The Supremes, The Temptations and Diane Ross the superstars of the label.
They were released from their contract and almost immediately the brothers co-wrote “It’s Your Thing” and released it on their own T-Neck label. The funky “IYT” topped the R&B charts at #1 and the Billboard Top 100 at #2 , then went on the win the first Grammy Award for any former Motown artist.
Everyone covered the song including many Motown artists. I am especially partial to The Temptations’ psychedelic cover: the vocals harmonies are awesome! The J5 version is pretty great too IMHO. Check them out right now and let me know what you think.
The Temptations 1960 cover version
This is the original vocal from the J5 cover but it is a current extended Remix that I have been listening to a lot lately. Hope you enjoy it.
Trivia. This is the first song on which the then 17 yr old, baby brother, Ernie Isley, played bass on a song. Of course brother Ernie would go on to become an integral part of the third generation Isley Brothers renamed Isley Brothers 3 +3 — one of the most successful self contained family funk units of the seventies.
The Isley Brothers first charted in 1959 with “Shout – Part 1″ ( #47 billboard top 100)
The Isley Brothers next appearance on the music charts was in 1962 with “Shout – Part 1″ (#94 Billboard top 100)
Filed under:A Family Affair,Grammy Gold,Guy Groups,It's Your Thing,Motown,Motown Covers Pop,Pop/R&B,Pop/Soul,R&B/Motown,R&B/Soul,Ronald Isley/ O'Kelly Isley Jr/ Rudolph Isley,Sixties,T-Neck,The Isley Brothers,The Jackson Five,The Temptations