Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 25: Walter Williams of the O'Jays, is 71-years-old today.

Walter Williams, Eric Grant and Eddie Levert

The O'Jays, a soul and R&B group, began in Canton, Ohio in 1958 while in high school. Originally known as The Triumphs, and then The Mascots, In 1963 they took the name "The O'Jays," in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O'Jay.

The group originally included Williams, Eddie Levert, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles. The O'Jays made their first chart appearance with "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 Billboard Hot 100 the following year with "Love Train". Numerous other hits followed through the 1970s and into the 80s and 90s.

Released in 1973, "Love Train" reached #1 on both the R&B and the Billboard Hot 100 charts and was certified gold by the RIAA." Williams has been a member of the group throughout its history.

The O'Jays Essential O'Jayswere inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004, and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

On June 28, 2009, at the 2009 BET Award Show in the Shrine Auditorium, the O'Jays were honored with BET's 2009 Life Time Achievement Award.

The Best Of Soul Train (3 DVD)

For more about the O'Jays, visit their Website at -


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