The O’Jays

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The O’Jays are an amazing case study in survival, both in the music business and in life. Formed in 1958 in Cleveland, Ohio, as the Triumphs, and later re-naming themselves after popular local disc jockey Eddie O’Jay, the group has endured in one form or another for five decades, always anchored by the instantly recognizable voices of Eddie Levert and Walter Williams. Following several minor hits in the 1960s (such as  "Lipstick Traces") the group struck gold in the 1970s with the great Philadelphia Soul producers Gamble&Huff. The partnership produced songs that mixed romantic and social messages, like "Backstabbers," "For the Love of Money" and of course, "Love Train." But along with their artistic achievements, the individual members of the O’Jays have struggled with challenges that included Williams’ quiet, decades-long battle with multiple sclerosis, and the untimely deaths of Eddie Levert’s sons, Sean and Gerald. Still putting on a show after a half century of performing together, the O’Jays tell the inside story of their journey on Unsung.

What do you think of this Unsung story? Who do you think is unsung? Tell us in the comments, below.

 

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