Friday, July 19, 2002

Isley Brothers plan to perform

By Larry Nager,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ernie Isley says he and his brother, Ron, the last performing members of Cincinnati's first family of rhythm and blues, hope to avoid the politics of the city's entertainment boycott and headline the “Soulfest 2002” concert July 27 at U.S. Bank Arena.

        “We are coming to perform, barring any last-minute glitches,” he said Thursday.

        Last year, the The Isley Brothers was among the first to lend support to the boycott. They canceled an appearance at the 2001 Taste of Cincinnati the month after the death of Timothy Thomas, the unarmed teen who fled police and was shot to death by a Cincinnati police officer, sparking riots and unrest.

        But Mr. Isley is looking forward to returning, despite a call this week by boycott leaders to derail Soulfest 2002, which is sponsored by WDBZ-AM (1230). Mr. Isley said he believes the concert can be part of the city's healing process.

        “Hopefully, it'll help to bandage up some wounds,” he said.

        Mr. Isley, 50, left open the possibility of a repeat non-performance, however.

        “I would imagine if there was a strong enough (pressure from boycotters to not appear) and it came to us, perhaps we wouldn't. But as far as I know, the Cincinnati show is still on.”


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