The legendary O’Jays are performing in Oakland Saturday, April 2 at the Paramount Theater, singing some of their all-time favorites “Love Train,” “Backstabbers,” “Forever Mine,” “Stairway to Heaven” and other favorites.
Boasting over 50years in the business, co-founder singer Eddie Levert, Sr. says his key to longevity in the industry was not making the entertainment business his entire world.
“Do not give show business all of you, don’t let it become your entire world,” he said. “The entertainment world can be harsh and so unforgiving to such great talents like Marvin Gaye, Donnie Hathaway, Phyllis Hyman, Whitney Houston, Robin Williams and so many others.”
The event is produced by Bay Area Productions.
An experience in the 1980s ensured Levert never took his gift of singing for granted ever again, when doctors found nodes on his vocal chords. “I had to stop talking for a month, and it took me two-three years to get my confidence back,” he shared. “If you don’t have God in your life, there’s no way to get through without a fortification in God.”
Sadly, Levert lost has lost two sons, Sean and Gerald Levert. But his sons didn’t leave earth without making their own indelible mark on the industry. The brothers, collaborating with their friend Marc Gordon, formed a trio, Levert, and made hits such as, “Baby Hold Onto Me,” “Casanova,” and “Pop, Pop, Pop Goes My Mind.”
Eddie Levert appreciates the time and collaborations with his sons including, “Baby Hold Onto Me” and “Already Missing You.”
“I’m at a great place in my life and my new book is named after the album, “Did I Make You Go Ooh.” “The album reflects all 12 chapters in the book,” he said. His team is also working on his biography which will also be out in late 2016.
The O’Jays formed in high school when Levert teamed up with classmates Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles to form a group called the Triumphs. As teenagers in Canton, Ohio, they formed a band.
In 1963, the band took the name “The O’Jays” in tribute to Cleveland radio disc jockey Eddie O’Jay. Several members have changed, but the core, original lead singers Eddie Levert and Walter Williams, continue to front the group along with Eric Nolan Grant.
For concert tickets, visit Ticketmaster or the Paramount Theater box office.