Album: Shout (1959)
Charted: 47

Songfacts®:

  • The Isleys wrote this on the spur of the moment at a Washington, DC, concert in mid-1959. As they performed Jackie Wilson's "Lonely Teardrops," Ronald Isley ad-libbed, "WELLLLLLLLLLL... you know you make me want to SHOUT" and Rudy and O'Kelly joined in on the improvisation. The audience went wild and afterwards, RCA executive Howard Bloom suggested putting it out as their first RCA single.
  • This evolved out of the call-and-response style The Isleys grew up singing in church. The organist from their church, Professor Herman Stephens, played on the song.
  • The Isley Brothers did not consider this a song at first. It was just a "thing" they would do onstage and the crowd would go nuts. They knew they were onto something when Jackie Wilson, who they were opening for, started using the stop-and-go style in his show.
  • This song has its own dance. When the Isleys sing the "little bit softer now" part, you go a little lower, then gradually rise up for the "little bit louder now part." For the rest of the song, you just jump around and go crazy. It's an easy dance, which makes it popular at weddings, proms, and other events where many rhythmically challenged people end up on the dance floor.
  • The 1978 movie Animal House features "Shout" in a famous scene where the fraternity brothers dance to it. The movie, a star vehicle for John Belushi, became a classic, helping revive interest in the song as well as the dance associated with it.

    The version in Animal House was performed by a fictional band called Otis Day And The Knights, with Otis played by the actor DeWayne Jessie. The movie became a huge hit, and within days Jessie was getting requests to perform. He quickly put together a real Otis Day And The Knights and became a touring act, mostly hitting college campuses. They were still touring into the 2010s. In 1989, they released and album called Shout.
  • In the UK, this is the song that introduced the singing sensation Lulu. The Scottish singer came to London at age 15 and recorded a version of the song with her group Lulu & The Luvvers that made it to #7 in the UK in 1964. Early on, Lulu often performed in blues clubs where the song was a great fit. She soon became a very successful actress as well, appearing in the film To Sir With Love and scoring a #1 US hit with the title track.

    Lulu, just 13 at the time, was introduced to the song by the Scottish rocker Alex Harvey, who she saw perform it in a Glasgow club called The Scene. Lulu added it to her act with The Luvvers, and it became their first hit when Lulu sang it at an audition for Decca records. She had a terrible cold when she recorded it, which gave her a rougher sound that suited the song.
  • This was never a chart success, but it sold over a million copies and became a rock and R&B classic. The Brothers bought their mother a house in New Jersey with the proceeds from this. She was living in Cincinnati.
  • After this got some attention, RCA records signed the Isleys to a record deal despite concerns that people would not understand what they were singing.
  • According to The Isley Brothers: Summer Breeze Greatest Hits Live DVD, this song was recorded in its first take during the studio session. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Rudy - bako, CA
  • The Isleys developed this on tours of black theaters in the late '50s. They were usually low on the bill with other R&B acts.
  • The B-side of the single was "Shout Part 2," an even wilder version.
  • The Isley Brothers' next four singles tanked. They did not have another hit until "Twist And Shout" in 1962.
  • This song charted seven times in America from 1959-1969. The original Isley Brothers version went to #47 in 1959. A cover version by Joey Dee And The Starlighters went to #6 in 1962; that same year a re-release of the Isley's original went to #94.

    Lulu's version, a huge UK hit, reached #94 in 1964, the same year Dion's version hit #108. Lulu's cover was re-released in 1967 and reached #96. Finally, the Chambers Brothers took the song to #83 in 1969.
  • This features in the opening scene of the 2005 movie Wedding Crashers, where we see Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson showing up uninvited at various weddings to pick up bridesmaids and female guests. It's an appropriate choice considering how popular the song is at weddings; David Dobkin also liked the idea of doing it in homage to Animal House. The song was also used in these movies:

    Glory Road (2006)
    Guarding Tess (1994)
    Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
    The Wanderers (1979)
    Teenage Cover Girls (1976)
    Heavy Traffic (1973)

    And in these TV shows:

    Ally McBeal ("I Want Love" - 2001)
    The Wonder Years ("Night Out" - 1990)
    Quantum Leap ("Good Morning, Peoria - September 9, 1959" - 1989)
    Fame ("A Different Drummer" - 1986)
  • In 2003, the group MxPx recorded a new version for the 25th anniversary DVD release of Animal House.
  • Nike re-created the Animal House scene with "Shout" in a 2015 video celebrating University of Oregon athletics - company founder Phil Knight is an alumnus and the company is based in Oregon. Appearing in the spot are popular University of Oregon athletes, past and present, including football players Dan Fouts, Marcus Mariota, Ahmad Rashad, Dennis Dixon and Joey Harrington; track stars English Gardner, Mandy White and Galen Rupp; and the Duck mascot. Otis Day (DeWayne Jessie) reprised his role from the film.

Comments: 16

  • Tracy Knight from CanadaIn the beginning of the 1982 Movie "Diner" which was one of the first successful independent Movies in Cinema, they played "Shout" when a group of College Students were Dancing at a Church Dance on Xmas Day 1959, several were Jewish so it didn't make a difference. It was also played on The TV Series The Wonder Years where Kevin & Winnie danced to it, as guests of Robbie Hudson. It was also one of the Songs that UK Singer Nicola Roberts sang at 17 when she auditioned to be in an up and coming Girl Group called Girls Aloud which are to this day the most successful to come out of Reality TV in the UK are the most successful Group to come out of Reality TV of all time.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1964 {May 1st} Lulu performed her covered version of "Shout" on the British ITV network television program, 'Ready Steady Go!'....
    Two week later the song entered the United Kingdom's Official Top 50 chart at position #41, five weeks later it would peak at #7 {for 1 week} and it spent thirteen weeks on the Top 50...
    Between 1964 and 2002 the Scottish native had twenty-eight records on the U.K. Singles chart, ten made the Top 10 with one* reaching #1, "Relight My Fire" {with Take That}, on October 3rd, 1993 for two weeks...
    Her twenty-eighth and last charted record was a duet, a covered version of "We've Got Tonight" with Ronan Keating, it peaked at #4 for one week on December 1st, 2002...
    Lulu, born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie, will celebrate her 71st birthday this coming November 3rd, 2019...
    * She just missed having a second #1 record when her "Boom Bang-A-Bang" peaked at #2 {for 1 week} on April 9th, 1969, and the week it was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 15th 1962, Joey Dee and the Starliters appeared at the Town and Country Club in Brooklyn, New York...
    At the time the group's covered version of "Shout (Part 1)" was at #12 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; seventeen days earlier on April 29th, 1962 it had peaked at #6 {for 1 week} and it spent 12 week on the Top 100...
    The week "Shout" was at #12, six positions higher on the Top 100 at position #6 was "Shout Shout" by Ernie Maresca...
    During the calendar year of 1962 Joey Dee & the Starliters had six records make the Top 100 chart; the other five were "Peppermint Twist"*, "Hey, Let's Twist" {#20}, "Roly Poly" {#74}, "What Kind of Love is This" {#18}, and "I Lost My Baby" {#61}...
    * "Peppermint Twist" peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks} on January 21st, 1962.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 16th 1964, the Isley Brothers performed "Shout!" on the ABC-TV program 'Shindig!'*...
    Five years earlier on September 21st, 1959 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and five weeks later on October 26th, 1959 it peaked at #47 {for 1 week} and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    In 1962 on March 18th it re-entered the Top 100 at #94, and that same week Joey Dee & the Starlighters' covered version of the song entered at #68; the brothers remained on the chart for 3 weeks & #94 was its peaked position while on April 29th the Starlighters' version peaked at #6 {for 1 week}...
    And in 1969 another group of brothers, Chambers Brothers, reached #83 on the Top 100 with their covered version of the song...
    * They performed the song during the show's closing credits.
  • John from Eugene, Or"Shout" was produced by Hugo & Luigi for RCA. It has only two chords in the whole song. Ronnie sings lead vocal and along with other songs like: James Brown's "Night Train" and Ray Charles' "What'd I Say" this was considered an R&B standard. You'll notice that there is a part I and a part II; on the radio the Dee Jays would play part I as the A side but you actually had to buy the 45 to hear part II.
  • Nunzio from Darwin, AustraliaThe Beatles version was done for their old TV special in '64. It was intended as a single but John
    starts swearing throu it then George sings..."it's a bloody joke now". Murry the K played The Beatles version on one of his shows & it was the bit with the swearing but Murry couldn't understand what they
    were singing because of their accents.
  • Ryan from Shoreham, NyBilly joel played this song at Yankee stadium in 1990. The first song on his "Live at Yankee stadium" Album
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjCute song. it annoys my cousin Diana out of her mind, though.
  • Paul from Redditch, EnglandThe Beatles also did a decent cover of this. But living in the UK the Lulu version is the most recognisable.
  • Jessica from Holt, MiI was playing a game and it said that this song says the word "shout" like 98 times or some crazy high number like that. So I listened to it, but I only counted 50 or 60 some "shouts" (it was awhile ago and I don't remember the exact number). Do I maybe just have a shorter version of the song (I have it on a sports jams compilation album) or am I just missing some? If someone else counts, please tell me what number you get, I'm curious.
  • Matthew from East Brunswick, NjGreat stuff. When I saw that in Animal House, I thought I was going to crack up.
  • Kenneth from Cleveland, OhWasn't there a lawsuit involving the Isleys and the spot remover detergent Shout /I can't find any info on it,but I vaguely remember Ron Isley being upset about the use of the song in a jingle?
  • Patrick from Bonheiden, BelgiumNext to Lulu, didn't The Trammps cover it too? I believe at least in Holland and Belgium they had a huge hit too.
  • Shell from Riverdale, GaDwayne Jessie, the actor who portrayed Otis Day in "Animal House", later legally changed his name to Otis Day, recruited a band christened The Knights, and has been touring and playing for about 20 years. Robert Cray was the bass player for the Knights in the film.
  • Jessa from Brampton, On, CanadaThe Buffalo Bills [nfl] have a version [the bills make me wanna shout]
  • Brad Wind from Miami, FlLulu and the Luvvers had a huge UK hit with a cover version of "Shout."
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