Through the flag twirlers and the gospel choir and the seemingly endless proclamations from local officials, Ernie Isley was able to reduce to one word the honor of having streets named after him and his famous family in the suburban towns where they once lived: “Wow.”“It’s a ‘wow’ moment,” he exclaimed.
“This is a spectacular culmination of a lot of dreams and a lot of prayers.” Teaneck and Englewood, suburbs a few miles across the Hudson River from New York City, held dual ceremonies Thursday (June 24) to honor the Isley Brothers, the legendary group that scored hits with songs including “Shout,” “Twist and Shout,” “It’s Your Thing,” “That Lady” and “Fight The Power.”
Ron Isley lived in Teaneck and Ernie lived in neighboring Englewood during the group’s heyday in the 1960s. Another brother, Rudolph, lived in Irvington, about 12 miles south of Teaneck. The brothers helped put Teaneck on the map when they launched the T-Neck record label, known to generations of music fans for the distinctive orange dust jacket on its 45 rpm records. It was a local music fan, Teaneck resident Ira Buckman, who hit upon the idea of renaming part of Van Arsdale Street as Isley Brothers Way two years ago. He was inspired by watching a rerun of the movie Animal House, which features the Isley Brothers’ “Shout.”