Sunday 15 September 2019

Bill Isles, founder member of The O’Jays, dies aged 78

Isles had left the group but was still tour manager when Love Train was released.

A modern line-up of The O’Jays after their induction into the Hall of Fame (Rich Lee/PA)
A modern line-up of The O’Jays after their induction into the Hall of Fame (Rich Lee/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

Bill Isles, an original member of the chart-topping R&B group The O’Jays, has died at the age of 78.

Isles’ son, Duane Isles, told The San Diego Union-Tribune that his father died of cancer in Oceanside, California last month.

The funeral was on Saturday.

Isles and his childhood friends in Canton, Ohio, formed the Mascots in 1958 before changing the name to The Triumphs and releasing a single in 1961.

The band changed its name to The O’Jays after getting pivotal advice from a Cleveland DJ named Eddie O’Jay.

Bill Isles was featured on songs including Lonely Drifter and Lipstick Traces before quitting the group in 1965.

Duane Isles said his father was The O’Jays’ tour manager between 1971 and 1974, when the group released Love Train and Back Stabbers.

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