The R&B group, The O’Jays, was formed in 1958 and originally consisting of group members Eddie Levert. Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. Formed in Canton, Ohio at Canton Mckinly High School, The O’Jays first called themselves The Triumphs and then The Mascots before finally deciding on the name, The O’Jays. Once they began recording and linked with some of the biggest producers in their area at that time, they released their first single as a group, “Lonely Drifter” which shortly became their first national chart single. Shortly after in 1963, the group released their debut album, “Comin’ Through” and their career took off with a bang.
Throughout the 1960s, The O’ Jays continued to produce quality records such as Lipstick Traces, Stand In For Love, Let Is All Out and more. After struggling to secure a top spot on the R&B chart, two of the group’s members, Bill Isles and Bobby Massey, decided to depart from the group, transforming The O’Jays into a trio. Soon after, the group scored their first huge success with singles, “Back Stabbers” and “Love Train”.
They continued to ride the wave of success and released hit singles throughout the 1970s, producing classic records that are still played together including a WBLS favorite, “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby”. Despite losing some of their original group members and adding new members to the group, they pressed forward and continued to turn themselves into a household name. They even had huge success overseas as they recorded nine hit singles in the United Kingdom. The group recorded up until the early 2000s and released their latest album, “Imagination” in 2004.
The O’Jays also are credited with an acting role as they stared alongside Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce in the 2003 film, “The Fighting Temptations”. They were later inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored with the Life Time Achievement Award in 2009 at the BET Music Awards.
Throughout all the ups and downs that come with being involved in the music business, Eddie Levert, Walter Williams and Eric Grant a.k.a The O’Jays have continued to produce quality music and given us timeless classics that we’ll be playing for years to come.