The O’Jays are an American R&B group from Canton, Ohio, formed in 1958 and originally consisting of Eddie Levert (born June 16, 1942), Walter Lee Williams (born August 25, 1943), William Powell (January 20, 1942 – May 26, 1977), Bobby Massey (born 1942, Canton) and Bill Isles (January 4, 1941 – March 28, 2019). The O’Jays made their first chart appearance with the minor hit “Lonely Drifter” in 1963, but reached their greatest level of success once Gamble & Huff, a team of producers and songwriters, signed them to their Philadelphia International label in 1972. With Gamble & Huff, the O’Jays (now a trio after the departure of Isles and Massey) emerged at the forefront of Philadelphia soul with “Back Stabbers” (1972), and topped the US Billboard Hot 100 the following year with “Love Train.” Several other US R&B hits followed, and The O’Jays were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005, and in 2013 they were inducted into National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame.
Also Known As
The Triumphs, The Mascots
Gerald LeVert, Teddy Pendergrass, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, LeVert
Philadelphia soul progressive soul
Canton, Ohio, U.S.