Watch the O'Jays Live at the Apollo

By any measurement, the O'Jays must be considered one of the most important Soul Music groups of the past half century years.  Originally a regionally popular act in Cleveland (and in fact named after local deejay Eddie O'Jay), the group was together for a decade before getting a major break by teaming with young songwriter/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

By any measurement, the O'Jays must be considered one of the most important Soul Music groups of the past half century years.  Originally a regionally popular act in Cleveland (and in fact named after local deejay Eddie O'Jay), the group was together for a decade before getting a major break by teaming with young songwriter/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  During the period of Philadelphia International's 70s dominance of the airwaves, it was clear that the O'Jays were the foundation of the house.  The contrast of the gruff, electrifying voice of Eddie Levert and the mellifluous tones of Walter Williams gave the group the ability to masterfully handle the funkiest cuts Gamble & Huff could throw at them and yet also handle ballads beautifully.  They generally received the best songs and the most creative Gamble & Huff arrangements, with far more hits than misses.  Songs like "For The Love of Money," "Livin' For the Weekend," and the classic "Use Ta Be My Girl" all appeared to be a year or two ahead of what everyone else was doing, and made each new O'Jays release an event.   And, as the vehicle for G&H's social statements, the group released some of the most intelligent, relevant album cuts of the decade.  Their 70s albums, especially Ship Ahoy, are now considered classics.  

Check out a classic O'Jays concert at the Apollo Theater below!

 
SoulTracks Choice Cut - Toni Redd - "Underneath My Skin"
Song of the Month - Stokley - "Level"
CD of the Month - Phil Perry - Breathless
Pre-order now! - Norman Brown - Let It Go

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