The Isley Brothers (1957-1984)

The Isley Brothers were a band on the Billboard Top 40 charts for fifty years. Their ability to synthesize R&B, soul, funk, disco, and rock & roll elements into their discography made the group electrifying and interesting. The band was important to the creation of the soul … Read MoreThe Isley Brothers (1957-1984)

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters (1950-1965); (Hank Ballard 1927-2003)

Hank Ballard and the Midnighters was a rhythm and blues band that were a major influence on the rock and roll genre beginning in the 1950s. They recorded a number of hugely popular songs and were known as the most risqué R&B group of their … Read MoreHank Ballard and the Midnighters (1950-1965); (Hank Ballard 1927-2003)

Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers (1954-1957)

Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers began in 1954 as a singing group founded at Edward W. Stitt Junior High School in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan (New York City, New York) by second tenor Jimmy Merchant and bass Sherman Garnes. They initially called themselves the Earth Angels. Eventually they added lead singer, Herman Santiago, and … Read MoreFrankie Lymon and The Teenagers (1954-1957)

Ben E. King (1938-2015)

Born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28, 1938 in Henderson, North Carolina, he and his family moved to Harlem, New York when he was nine years old. There he worked in his father’s luncheonette, sang in church and formed a doo-wop group called “The Four B’s.” The band consisted of two … Read MoreBen E. King (1938-2015)

The Shirelles (1956-1982)

The Shirelles, an all-girl singing pop and rhythm and blues group that was active from 1956 to 1982, was the first African American female group to top any charts. They were formed in 1956 at New Jersey’s Passaic High School. Shirley Owens, Beverly Lee, Doris Kenner, and Addi “Mickey” Harris … Read MoreThe Shirelles (1956-1982)