The O’Jays arriving to the party
Before Eddie Levert, William Powell, Bobby Massey, Walter Williams and Bill Isles formed The O’Jays, they were collectively known as The Triumphs and then The Mascots. The group released its debut single, Miracles in 1961 which became a hit in Cleveland. They later changed their name to The O’Jays in 1963 as a tribute to a legendary radio jockey Eddie O’Jay and came out with their first hit single, Lonely Drifter. The track picked up the ninety third spot on the Billboard Hot 100. A couple of years later, the band treated the fans with its debut album, ‘Comin Through’ in 1965.
Dominating the charts
The O’Jays remained in the spotlight as they released a number of hit singles throughout the 1960’s with the likes of, Let it All Out, Stand in for Love, Look Over Your Shoulder and Deeper in Love With You. Their single, Lipstick Traces received global attention when they performed it live on ‘Shivaree,’ the ABC show. Their other single, I’ll Be Sweeter Tomorrow was a Top 10 R&B hit as it picked up the eighth spot on the US R&B chart. Bill Isles and Bobby Massey then quit the band which left the group as a trio.
Making their presence felt
The O’Jays faced a few hiccups during their initial years but their fortunes changed for the better when they released their seventh studio album, ‘Back Stabbers’ in 1972. It went to the third spot on the US R&B chart and went gold in the United States. It was well received by critics as AllMusic gave the record five stars out of five. ‘Back Stabbers’ was also included in the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the ‘500 greatest albums of all time.’
Finding success with Ships Ahoy
A year later, the band came out with its first number one hit album, ‘Ship Ahoy’ in 1973 which went platinum in the US. It received favorable reviews from critics as AllMusic described the album in words, “the "other" O'Jays album masterpiece with shattering message tracks and stunning love songs.” The record became the Billboard Year-End chart’s highest selling R&B album for the year 1974 and featured two hit singles, For the Love of Money and Put Your Hands Together.
Making a global impact
The O’Jays didn’t slow down after ‘Ships Ahoy’ and came out with three more number one albums, ‘Survival,’ ‘Family Reunion’ and ‘So Full of Love.’ Each one of these records received commercial success and was praised by the critics. Family Reunion featured two hit singles, I Love Music and Livin’ for the Weekend both of which picked first spot on the US R&B chart where as ‘So Full of Love’ and ‘Survival’ were certified platinum by the RIAA.
The O’Jays legacy
The O’Jays have had an amazing journey in the music industry. The group even starred in the hit movie, ‘The Fighting Temptations’ alongside Cuba Gooding Jr and Beyonce Knowles. The band also performed the single, For The Love of Money at the ESPY Awards which also became the title song of Donald Trump’s reality show, ‘The Apprentice.’
They are the winners of one American Music and Soul Train Music Award. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame inductees will now make a stop near you as part of their tour. Catch one of the best R&B groups live in concert by getting The Ojays tickets and enjoy an unforgettable show.