Family Reunion as Performed by The O’Jays (1975)

Family Reunion – The O’Jays (1975)

This is just another one of the many smash hits written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. This song came into my mind as I am making preparations to attend a family reunion next month. Whenever I hear it I think of the first family reunion I attended with my Dad (it wasn’t mine by the way) and how the very large family showed so much love for one another.  To this day this song brings tears to my eyes.

Gamble and Huff’s songs about love, family and betrayal (Back-Stabbers) are all classic Philly Soul and no discussion of oldies would ever be complete without their music.

“Family Reunion” first appeared on the album of the same name released in 1975. This masterpiece set, containing “Unity” AND “Livin’ for the Weekend” AND “Stairway to Heaven” AND “I Love Music” (whew!), went to #7 on the Top 40 Album Chart and #1 on the R&B Album chart. Rightly so — every song on this LP was a smash!

The “Family Reunion” single, released in 1976, charted at only #45 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart — but I find that oh so hard to believe. It simply had to be higher than that. It sure was popular here where I live.

L-r: Walter Williams, William Powell and Eddie Levert.

Well I can’t leave out the brilliant performance of this song by the mighty mighty O’Jays (as Don Cornelius would introduce the group on Soul Train).

Friends Walter Williams, Bill Isles, Jerome Pierson, Bobby Massey, William Powell and Eddie Levert formed a singing group while attending high school in 1958 Canton Ohio. First know as The Triumphs, then The Mascots, the group finally decided in 1963 on the name “The O’Jays” in tribute to radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay. The group had some regional hits but did not become nationally known until their 1972 hit “Backstabbers”.

The group dwindled down to three members and has remained a trio ever since. Original member William Powell died of cancer in 1977 and was replaced by Sammy Strain of Little Anthony & the Imperials. In 1992, Sammy Strain left the group, and returned to the Imperials, to be replaced by Nathaniel Best, and later, by Eric Grant.

Even thought this is the last day of the month, and I will be moving on from the theme of male vocal groups to something different in July, I will definitely be re-visiting this class act, The O’Jays, in future blogs to come so stay tuned.

Enjoy your summer family reunion. It will make special memories you will have forever.  😉

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Sondan! Girl, you have your site looking so great! I am so happy to hear this song. Me too…I’ve got a Family Reunion from the 17th to the 20th down south and it’s a place that I’ve never been. Tomorrow morning I’m going to find out if the hotel is wireless so I can take my laptop and go to your site and play this. Yep, I’ll do it! Thank you so much! You work so hard. What a repitiore! (I can’t spell it smile) Love Ya Elaine

  2. Thanks E for the kind words. I really appreciate it. It lets me know that I must be doing something right.

    My reunion is this weekend. Am leaving Friday for PA so I will be away from my PC until Sunday Night. I will probably have a mini-withdrawal for lack of a keyboard. 😉

    One of these days I hope to get into the 21st century and buy a laptop to take with me on travel … or better yet one of those Blueberrys that I see everywhere that can let you take the Internet with you in your pocket.

    But until then me and my reconditioned desktop will just keep on keeping on.

    As for you young lady — you blog too hard. Leave the laptop and enjoy every minute of your adventure into the unknown South meeting and greeting your relatives! Don’t let that laptop interfere with enjoying a once in a lifetime experience. You only have your FIRST visit anywhere ONCE. If you don’t have a digital camera pick one up to keep those memories with you forever.

    Thanks again for you visit and comments. I am glad you enjoy the music I am sharing and wish you a safe and wonderful Reunion trip.

    SonDan

    P.S. Be sure to keep listening to this great song to keep you psyched for your trip 😉

  3. hope that I will be able to attend my friend’s family reunion this year. They are my extended family and it has been too long, to miss seeing all the smiling faces. there is nothing beter than love, family and friends. always remember first and foremost the family head Jesus, he is love and joy.

  4. Thanks for your comments Brenda and I am wishing you a most enjoyable experience at your upcoming reunion wiht your extended family. The one I recently attended was marvelous. Both the food and fellowship were awesome. The only thing missing was great oldies music (LOL).

    Hope you stop by again real soon.


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