Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I is for The (I)sley Brothers & Imani Coppola

 The Isley Brothers is an American band that formed in the early 1950s, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. They began their careers as a gospel quartet and eventually changed over to the more R&B, Funk and Rock inspired sounds that they are known for today. The brothers are Ronald, Rudolph, O'Kelly and Vernon Isley. 
  Unfortunately, in 1955 Vernon Isley passed away due to a bicycling accident ( which left Ronald Isley to be the band's lead vocalist. In 1957 the brothers moved to New York City to  record what is described as "doowop" singles that ended up getting them no where; While performing at a concert where they put on a great show that garnered them in Washington D.C an RCA executive later signed the group to the label. 
   In 1962 the brothers left RCA and was able to gain success with their cover of The Top Notes song "Twist and Shout". They went on tour where they allowed a young Jimi Hendrix (Jimmy James) play guitar in their band; Hedrix recorded some of his first singles with The Isley Brothers on their label titled the "T-Neck Label". Four years later the band signed with a branch of the Motown label called Tamla Records in 1965, where they went on to release their first single "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)". Due to this song being their only hit with Motown but the song shooting to the number three in Britain in 1967 they moved to England and continued to perform and do their music there. It wasn't until 1969 that they returned to the United States and revamped their own record label and released "It's Your Thing" this became the number two song on U.S charts in 1969. 
  Also, in 1969 the band introduced new members into their band, this included: Ernie and Marvin Isley, their brother in law Chris Jasper and friend Everett Collins, during the 1970s the band began to incorporate those hard edged rock to their sound, which they pushed out many hits like "That Lady, Pt. 1"(a rendition of their original song "Who's That Lady") and "Fight the Power" both hits. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The band continued with their success for decades, going on to become one of the most popular bands ever to exist and securing their titles as musical legends. Marvin Isley left the band in 1996 and later passed away in April of 2010 due to complications with diabetes.The band continues to perform and tour today and has three upcoming shows next month and in July, to learn more visit the links below.

Imani Coppola is an American singer, songwriter and violinist, born on April 14, 1978 in New York, NY. She mixes surrealistic, alternative rock, pop and hip hop to create her sound. She released her first album in 1997 titled "Chupacabra" in which the single "Legend of a Cowgirl" was an MTV hit. Despite this, Coppola spent time away from the industry and eventually the label she was signed to dropped her. She release her second album "Afrodite" in 2004 on her own label. It was the release of "The Black & White Album" in 2007 that I first came learned of Imani Coppla, falling in love with that album and my favorite single off of the album was "Woke Up Hwite (white)Today" a hilarious but serious and thought provoking song that illustrates the trials and tribulations that people of color continue to face in racist society. In this song she brings attention to all of the things she could get away with if she happened to be white.
   Coppola went on to front the duo called "Little Jackie" which was named after Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's 1989 song titled "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star" along with Adam Pallin, in this group they continued the sound that Coppola was most known for. They released their debut in 2008 titled "Stoop", in which the single "The World Should Revolve Around Me" also went on to receive a good amount of airplay from MTV and also became a favorite song of mine. Their most recent album "Made for TV" was released in 2011 and can be purchased through iTunes; the duo continues to make music and play shows.

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