Eddie Levert stands the test of time
Levert talks about memorable collaboration with son Gerald, speaks on Prince and discusses new album “Did I Make You Go Ooh”
Brandon I. Brooks, Managing Editor Los Angeles Sentinel | 7/9/2016, 8:26 p.m.
Music icon Eddie Levert, Sr. is underappreciated to say the least. Many people do not recognize the impactful contribution he has made to music over the last four decades. His career has transcended generations standing the test of time.
When I received a call with the opportunity to interview the music icon, I jumped at the opportunity. The fact is I grew up on Eddie Levert’s music. Growing up in a Black home in America during the eighties and nineties, the O’Jay’s anthems were always being played on the radio. Eddie Levert’s famous singing voice was undoubtedly a consistent backdrop in my household and during car rides with family and friends over the years.
While singing with the O’Jays as the lead vocalist, Eddie earned an impressive nine Platinum records, ten Gold records and nine #1 singles including “Back Stabbers,” “Use Ta Be My Girl,” “Love Train,” “Give The People What They Want,” “I Love Music,” “For The Love Of Money,” “Livin’ For The Weekend,” “Darlin’ Darlin’ Baby,” and “Family Reunion” while signed under Gamble and Huff ‘s Philadelphia International Label. The single, “For The Love of Money,” is a GRAMMY Hall of Fame 2016 Inductee and is the theme song for NBC’s The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice.
Eddie has received numerous awards for his passionate stirring vocals, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, the BET Lifetime Achievement Award, The Trumpet Lifetime Achievement Award and the Heroes and Pacesetters Award.
The Los Angeles Sentinel and L.A. Watts Times had the pleasure of sitting down and for a one-on-one interview with Eddie Levert, Sr. as he toured Los Angeles promoting his new album “Did I Make You Go Ooh.” While visiting L.A., Eddie performed at the world famous Maverick’s Flat club in South L.A. and he also performed at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the annual KJLH Women’s Health Exposition.
During the interview, Eddie shared that his favorite collaboration and most memorable was the father and son project with his son Gerald Levert. “That is still the epitome of some of the best times in my career because he (Gerald) brought me into a younger audience I didn’t have and I realized young people were into my music,” said Eddie.
In 1984, Eddie saw a proud moment as his high school aged sons, Gerald and Sean, announced that they wanted to follow their Dad’s footsteps. They teamed up with good friend Marc Gordon, recording under the group name LeVert. Using his influence, Eddie introduced his young sons around the industry while warning them that Dad could help open the doors but it was themselves that would have to make it, and that they did.
In 1992, Eddie and Gerald teamed up and went #1 on the R&B charts with the single, “Baby Hold On to Me.” In 1995, they recorded the “Father & Son” album with “Already Missing You” scoring big on the R&B and Pop charts. Eddie and Gerald recorded another CD album, “Something To Talk About.” This album spun the very successful “Father and Son” tour that continued for years. Then in 1996 Eddie and Gerald recorded “Wind Beneath My Wings” that charted to critical acclaim.