Craig Allen says: ‘Meet Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose’
How many rock 'n' roll acts can you name that are made up of family members?
The Jackson 5 (later, Jacksons), The Cowsills, The DeFranco Family, The Osmonds, The Sylvers...
Add to the list, "Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose."
And, they were just what the name implies: brothers Carter and Eddie Cornelius, and their sister Rose Cornelius. Their sister Billie Jo Cornelius joined the band (later) in 1973.
The only non-family member of the group, a childhood friend named Cleveland E. Barrett, was killed in a car crash before the group saw any chart success.
Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose formed in Dania Beach, Florida in 1970.
Rose Cornelius had already had a taste of the limelight by the time the family decided to form their own band! In 1967, she appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show." She had also been performing in Las Vegas. Early 1970 found Rose touring with The Gospel Jazz Singers. It was her mother who convinced Rose to come home, and help form the band that would soon have two of "Jersey's Favorite Hits!"
When it came to writing their hits, brother Eddie wrote most of the songs, while sister Rose wrote most of the backing vocals.
Success came rather quickly for this family act!
"Treat Her Like A Lady" hit the airwaves and record store shelves in 1971.
The song hit a chord with audiences, and "rose" to #3 on the Hot 100 charts!
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the record "gold" (500,000 sales) on August 2, 1971.
Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose hit it big again, with their second single!
"Too Late To Turn Back Now" went to #2 in the summer of 1972!
The RIAA awarded the siblings another gold record in August 1972. "Too Late To Turn Back Now" sold over a million copies!
Check out their live TV appearance, above!
The band would put out three more singles...but none of them would equal the success of the first two singles...
Don't Ever Be Lonely (A Poor Little Fool Like Me) is an under appreciated record in my opinion. In the late fall of 1972, the song went to #23 on the charts...respectable for many band, but a disappointment for Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose.
"I'm Never Gonna Be Alone Anymore" just made it into the Top 40 (#37/1973).
"Let Me Down Easy" was the band's last Hot 100 chart effort (#96/1973).
"Big Time Lover" and "Since I Found My Baby" would show up on the "R&B" (Urban) chart in 1974.
In all, Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose would put out three albums, and all of them were produced and recorded at the "Music Factory" in Miami.
This family band called it quits in 1976, when Carter Cornelius joined a black Hebrew sect in Miami (Nation Of Yahweh). He adopted the name Prince Gideon Israel. He would write, record and mix the sect's music, until his death from a heart attack in November 1991. His sister Billie Jo says that Carter was working on a comeback song at the time of his death, at age 43.
Eddie Cornelius became a born-again Christian, ultimately becoming an ordained pastor after the concert lights faded. He continues to sing, write, and produce faith-based music.
Sister Rose is working and living in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, and sings with local bands.
And, their music lives on...as part of "Jersey's Favorite Hits" on New Jersey 101.5!