Over its more than 60 years of existence, the familial lineup of the legendary Isley Brothers can claim imprint on an impressive array of musical endeavors.
The R&B group’s “Twist and Shout” helped launch The Beatles across the Atlantic. The band once hired a backing guitarist named Jimi Hendrix; have had hits successfully sampled by hip-hop icons like Notorious BIG and Public Enemy; and its 1970s funk single “That Lady” helped move shampoo for Salon Selectives.
But even with these considerable achievements, the now-duo of Ernie and Ronald Isley—who will perform at 8 p.m. March 11 in the Seneca Niagara Events Center (310 4th St., Niagara Falls) —may find their act’s most prominent musical impression on Buffalo.
By way of the 1959 single “Shout,” the siblings unintentionally gave Western New York its adopted theme song. Whether personalized to follow Bills scores at New Era Field or spun mandatorily at any Buffalo wedding, the track is now part the region’s culture—much like The McCoys’ “Hang On, Sloopy” is for the state of Ohio. And over the years, the pop classic’s “hey-eh-ay-eh” breakdown has morphed into a Queen City rally cry, one appropriate for nearly any occasion of local revelry.
For this, the Isleys deserve thanks—and a rollicking sing-along to family's masterwork—when they find Niagara Falls this weekend.
Tickets start at $35 (ticketmaster.com).