In performances around 1958, the Isley Brothers would typically end their shows with a cover version of Jackie Wilson's hit "Lonely Teardrops". At one performance at the Uptown Theater in Philadelphia, lead singer Ronald Isley could see the audience standing and yelling their approval, so he extended the song by improvising a call-and-response around the words "You know you make me wanna..." "Shout!". The group developed the song further in later performances and rehearsals, using a drawn out "We-eee-ll" copied from Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman". On returning to New York City at the end of their engagement, they suggested to record producers Hugo & Luigi that they record the "Shout!" climax of the performance as a separate song. The producers agreed and suggested that the band invite friends to the recording studio to generate a party atmosphere.
The recording took place on July 29, 1959, with Hugo and Luigi choosing the studio musicians and the Isley Brothers inviting organist Herman Stephens. Released in August 1959, with the song split over both sides of the record, the single reached number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the group's first chart hit, and later the brothers' first gold single on the basis of its longevity. Ronald Isley later said that church groups wrote to radio stations asking them to stop playing the record, because of its use of a traditional black gospel sound. [emphasis added]
Live on Shindig:
Arguably the most famous version of them all:
It's been more than five years, and in these troubled times, there is no guarantee there will be another ... this is the last song we saw Bruce Springsteen sing in concert: