The Big Blue Old School Concert is coming to Tennessee State University on Saturday, February 1. The Isley Brothers, Rose Royce, S.O.S. Band and Deniece Williams are among the stars announced for the show. Doors open at 5:00 pm and the music begins at 6:00 pm in the TSU Howard C. Gentry Center Complex on the main campus.
“The Isley Brothers are The Most Important American Band of All Time,” according to the liner notes for the remastered edition of the band’s classic album “Go For Your Guns” last year.
“More than maybe any other band or artist, you can chart the changes in Black music — how it was played and what it was called — via the Isleys,” according to those liner notes. “They’re the only group in the history of music to have a demonstrable influence on both the Beatles (who covered the Isleys’ take of “Twist And Shout” for one of their biggest early hits) and Ice Cube (who rapped over this album’s “Footsteps In The Dark, Pts. 1 & 2” on “It Was A Good Day”).”
The Isley Brothers were 1992 Inductees of The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, selected in their first year of eligibility and Inducted by Little Richard. They were announced as 2020 Songwriters Hall of Fame inductees, along with Mariah Carey, the Eurythmics, Rick Nowels, The Neptunes, William “Mickey” Stevenson and Steve Miller just last week.
“With the possible exception of the Beatles, no band in the history of popular music, and certainly no African American act, has left a more substantial legacy on popular music than the Isley Brothers,” says Bob Gulla in “Icons of R&B and Soul.”
Rose Royce is best known for several hit singles during the 1970s including “Car Wash”, “I Wanna Get Next to You”, “I’m Going Down”, “Wishing on a Star”, and “Love Don’t Live Here Anymore”. The Los Angeles-based group comprised Gwen Dickey (vocals), Henry Garner (drums), Terral ‘Terry’ Santiel (congas), Lequeint ‘Duke’ Jobe (bass), Michael Moore (saxophone), Kenny Copeland (trumpet, lead vocals), Kenji Brown (guitar, lead vocals), Freddie Dunn (trumpet), and Victor Nix (keyboards) in the early 1970s. Norman Whitfield, after a decade at Motown, wanted to start a company of his own, and took them under his wing and signed them to his label, and the group, called Magic Wand, became the studio and concert band for The Undisputed Truth.
The S.O.S. Band (sometimes written SOS Band; abbreviation for Sounds Of Success) is an Atlanta, Georgia, R&B and electro-funk band, started in 1977, who gained fame in the 1980s. They are best known for the songs “Take Your Time (Do It Right)”, “Just Be Good to Me”, and “The Finest”.
Deniece Williams (born June Deniece Chandler) is a singer, songwriter and producer, who has been described as “one of the great soul voices” by the BBC. Williams has won four Grammys with twelve nominations altogether, and is perhaps best known for “Let’s Hear It for the Boy.”