Life and career
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Rudy began singing in church at a young age. In 1957, following Vernon"s death, the remaining three elder Isleys moved to New York to seek a recording deal, later recording for smaller labels until landing a deal with Radio Corporation of America Records in 1959 where they wrote, recorded and released their first significant recording, "Shout". By the summer of that year, the Isley family had moved from Cincinnati to a home in Englewood, New Jersey.
Following "Shout", the brothers recorded for other labels with modest success with exceptions including the top 40 hit, "Twist & Shout" and the Motown hit, "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)".
Following their split with Motown, they reactivated the label and scored a Grammy-winning smash with "lieutenant"s Your Thing" in 1969. While Ron Isley was the prominent lead singer of the group, Rudy did record a few lead vocals on some Isley Brothers songs, following the reactivation of T-Neck.
After the group reorganized into a band after the inclusion of younger brothers Ernie and Marvin Isley and in-law Chris Jasper, Rudy was known for wearing hats and fur-attired clothing and was also known for carrying a cane. Rudy also sung full lead on other tunes such as "You Still Feel the Need" from the album, Harvest for the World, and their 1979 hit, "lieutenant"s a Disco Night (Rock Don"t Stop)".
In 1986, Rudy"s eldest brother Kelly suddenly died of a heart attack in his sleep.
Kelly"s death devastated Rudy as the brothers had been close. After recording the albums, Smooth Sailin" and Spend the Night, Rudy Isley left the group and the music industry for good in 1989 to follow a lifelong goal of being a minister. Personal life
Isley married Elaine Jasper in 1958.
At first, Isley and his family settled at a house he bought in Teaneck, New Jersey, where they lived for ten years.
By the mid-1970s, Rudy was living in Haworth, New Jersey. Rudy served as best man for brother Ronnie"s 2006 marriage to his backup singer Kandy Johnson.