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Ernie Isley (born Ernest Isley, March 7, 1952, Cincinnatimarker, Ohiomarker) is an Americanmarker member of the family musical ensemble, The Isley Brothers. First serving as a drummer, Isley moved to be bassist and guitarist.


Isley was reared in Cincinnati, where his older brothers formed The Isley Brothers, first as a gospel group, then as a secular-singing group, until 1963 when he and his family moved to Englewoodmarker, New Jerseymarker.

After befriending Jimi Hendrix, who was one of the touring guitarists for his brothers and lived at the Isley's home for several years, and being influenced by Jose Feliciano's version of The Doors' "Light My Fire", Isley trained himself to be a guitarist.

In 1969, his younger brother Marvin and in-law relative Chris Jasper joined the Isleys' touring band. It was Ernie Isley who played the bass guitar riff on the 1969 hit, "It's Your Thing". It was not until 1972's Brother, Brother, Brother, however, that Ernie and the younger Isley members began to play a role in the group's sound. After moving to Epic Records in 1973, Ernie, Marvin and Chris joined the Isleys as full-fledged members, a tenure they would share under the 3 + 3 moniker until 1983. Between those years, Ernie was notable for his guitar riffs in "That Lady, Pt. 1 & 2", "Summer Breeze", "Live It Up", and "Voyage to Atlantis". Isley played guitar, but also played drums on most of the Isleys' records after 1974.

He is also a songwriter co-writing, "Fight the Power Pts. 1 & 2" and "Take Me to the Next Phase", "Harvest for the World", "That Lady", plus "Voyage to Atlantis", "At Your Best, You are Love", "Footsteps in the Dark", "Brown Eyed Girl", and "Between The Sheets". In 1984, Ernie, Marvin and Chris left the Isleys to form the splinter group, Isley-Jasper-Isley.

In 1990, Ernie Isley released his first solo album, High Wire. In the same year he recorded a cover version of the The Cars' "Let's Go" for the compilation album, Rubáiyát. The next year, he re-joined the Isleys with Ronald and Marvin and has remained a member since then.

He was a musician on the Janet Jackson album, Discipline, on the tracks "Never Letchu Go" and "The 1".

Isley currently resides in St. Louismarker, Missourimarker where has been active as a musical mentor. He lives with his wife of over ten years, Tracy. He has one daughter, Alexandra.


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