Friday, June 11, 2010


Bassit/songwriter Marvin Isley died last week after battling complications from diabetes. The talented and suave bassits/songwriter had died in Chicago after battling the disease for many years at the age of 56.
Marvin was the youngest member of The Isley Brothers, who had played bass and helped his older brothers co-write and produce several of their hits including "For The Love of You," "Sensuality," "Don't Say Goodnight," "Voyage To Atlantis" and the classic heavily sampled hit "Between The Sheets."
Marvin was born in Ohio on August 18th 1953 where he was exposed to music by his mother and older siblings Ronald, O'Kelly and Rudolph who was already pursuing their successful career. When his older brothers reached their peak, Marvin had relocated to Teaneck New Jersey with his family and began to play bass. After graduating from high school, he, his brother Ernie and cousin Chris Jasper had joined the older brothers band and later became members of the group making the Isley Brothers a sextet who conquered the music world with their classic albums "3+3" and the classic "The Heat Is On," which topped both the Soul and Pop album charts and released the classics "For The Love of You," "Fight The Power," and the radio hits "Make Me Say It Again Girl" and "Sensulaity." Other hits include "Voyage To Atlantis" "Here We Go Again" and "Between The Sheets" which was the last album to feature the classic sextet. Marvin, Chris and Ernie had left their older siblings and formed their own trio Isley/Jasper/Isley and released their first album "Broadway's Closer To Sunset Boulervard" which showed their Rock side, which sold poorly, due to many of their Soul music fans not accepting them perform anything form of music than R&B, so they retunred to their Soul roots with their classic "Caravan of Love" which topped the R&B charts followed and was remade by UK group The Housemartins, whose version topped the UK charts follow up "Irrestiable Woman." After releasing a third album in 1987, the group spilt and began to pursue other projects. In 1990, Marvin rejoined his older brother Ron after their brother Rudolph decided to retire and pursue a career in ministry four years after the death of their brother O'Kelly and their mother. Marvin started to play electric guitar until Ernie returned making the group a trio who recorded two hit albums "Tracks of Life" and the mulit-platnium classic "Mission To Please" which featured the album track "Let's Get Intimate" which the trio wrote and produced. The album became a hit and introduced the group to younger generation of music and an invittion to meet President Bill Clinton, but almost a year after the album's release, Marvin was forced to leave the group due to complications of diabetes, which sadly resulted in him having both of his legs ampultated. During an interview in 2001, he spoke about his regret of not making his health a priority.

"If I would have listened, if I would have understood diabetes like I understood music, maybe these things wouldn't have happened," Isley told the Atlanta Jounral Constitution newspaper.

While he was retired, his music was being played on radio and was sampled by several artists including rap group Rottin Razkals who sampled the classic "Caravan of Love" for their hit "Hey Alright."

In addition to his brothers Ronald, Rudolph and Ernie, Marvin is also survived by his cousin Chris Jasper, sister-in-law Elaine, wife, son and two daughters.

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