The Whispers

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The Whispers
The Whispers at Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City on 24 August 2013 (Photo by Derek K Cason)
The Whispers at Gardner's Basin in Atlantic City on 24 August 2013
(Photo by Derek K Cason)
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres
Years active1963–present
LabelsSoul Clock
Janus
Solar
Capitol
Associated actsCollage
Websitethewhispers.com
MembersWallace Scott
Walter Scott
Leaveil Degree
Past membersMarcus Hutson (deceased)
Don Otis Cooper (deceased)
Gordy Harmon
Nicholas Caldwell (deceased)

The Whispers are an American group from Los Angeles, California, who have scored hit records since the late 1960s. They are best known for their two number one R&B singles, "And the Beat Goes On" in 1980 and "Rock Steady" in 1987. The Whispers scored 15 top-ten R&B singles,[1] and 8 top-ten R&B albums with two of them, "The Whispers" and "Love Is Where You Find It" reaching the No. 1 spot.[2] They have earned two platinum and five gold albums by the RIAA.[3]

Career[edit]

The Whispers formed in 1963 in Watts, California. The original members included identical twin brothers Wallace "Scotty" and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell. After being invited to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1966 by Sly Stone, the group relocated to that area where they began developing a reputation as a show-stopping live act. Walter Scott was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War during that period for eighteen months, returning to the group in 1969 after discharge. After Harmon injured his larynx in a driving accident in 1973, he was replaced by former Friends of Distinction member Leaveil Degree.

The group scored many hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they hit number one on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1979/80 with "And the Beat Goes On" / "Can You Do the Boogie" / "Out the Box". In 1987, they enjoyed a brief tenure in the Top 10 when "Rock Steady" became their first Top 10 success on the Hot 100, reaching No. 7, while also capturing the No. 1 spot on the R&B chart.

After a series of singles on Los Angeles label, Dore, the group signed to a small LA label, Soul Clock, run by producer Ron Carson, who was responsible for their breakthrough hit, "Seems Like I Got To Do Wrong" in 1970. Moving to the larger New York-based Janus label, they continued to be produced by Carson, before he sold all of his recordings to Janus with the group then recording mainly in Philadelphia in the mid-'70s. Since that period, most of their studio work has been done in Los Angeles. Their most successful period was in the 1980s with SOLAR Records (Sound Of Los Angeles Records), which was operated by their manager at the time, Dick Griffey. The Whispers later established their own production company, Satin Tie Productions, through which they released their independent 2006 album For Your Ears Only.

The group opened Game 2 of the 1989 World Series at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum with their rendition of the National Anthem.

Marcus Hutson left the group in 1992 due to prostate cancer. According to the Whispers' website, when Hutson died of it on 23 May 2000, they vowed to never replace him, and started performing as a quartet.

Jerry McNeil resigned from his position as the keyboardist in the latter part of 1993 in order to spend more time with his family.

In 2014, the Whispers were inducted into the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame.

The Philadelphia soul songwriter team Allan Felder, Norman Harris, Bunny Sigler, and Ronnie Baker provided several of the Whispers' songs, including "A Mother for My Children" and "Bingo".

Nicholas Caldwell died of congestive heart failure at his San Francisco home on 5 January 2016.[4]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Wallace "Scotty" Scott (born 23 September 1943, Fort Worth, Texas) (1963–present)
  • Walter Scott (born 23 September 1943, Fort Worth, Texas) (1963–present)
  • Leaveil Degree (born 31 July 1948, New Orleans, Louisiana) (1973–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Marcus Hutson (born 8 January 1943, St Louis, Missouri; died 23 May 2000) (1963–1992)
  • Gordy Harmon (1963–1973)
  • Don Otis Cooper (born 28 September 1944, Los Angeles, California; died 23 August 1995) (1963–1964)
  • Nicholas Caldwell (born 5 April 1944, Loma Linda, California; died 5 January 2016 San Francisco, California)[14] (1963–2016)

Former musical directors[edit]

  • Grady "G" Wilkins Jr – musician, writer, producer, vocalist, keyboardist and musical director of the Whispers. Born 30 December 1955 in San Francisco, California, and died 19 December 2013.[15]
  • Fulton L. Tashombe – musician, vocalist, composer, arranger, producer, sound engineer, music educator, actor, keyboardist and musical director of Headlights. Born 7 January 1950 in San Francisco, California, and died 14 October 2017.[16]

Supporting musicians[edit]

  • Emilio Conesa – guitar
  • John Valentino – saxophone
  • Dewayne Sweet – keyboards
  • Richard Aguon – drums
  • Magic Mendez – producer, bass, keyboards, background vocals
  • Harmony Blackwell – programming, background vocals, interpretive dance
  • Aya Iwata – keyboards

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
US
[17]
US
R&B/HH

[17]
CAN
[18]
UK
[19]
The Whispers
  • Released: 1970
  • Label: Soul Clock
The Whispers' Love Story
  • Released: 1972
  • Label: Janus
186 34
Life and Breath
  • Released: 1972
  • Label: Janus
44
Planets of Life (re-release of The Whispers)
  • Released: 1973
  • Label: Janus
48
Bingo
  • Released: 1974
  • Label: Janus
40
One for the Money 189 40
Open Up Your Love 65 23
Headlights
  • Released: 1978
  • Label: SOLAR
77 22 80
Whisper in Your Ear
  • Released: 1979
  • Label: SOLAR
146 28
Happy Holidays to You
  • Released: 1979
  • Label: SOLAR
201 50
The Whispers
  • Released: 1979
  • Label: SOLAR
6 1
Imagination
  • Released: 1980
  • Label: SOLAR
23 3 42
This Kind of Lovin'
  • Released: 1981
  • Label: SOLAR
100 15
Love Is Where You Find It
  • Released: 1982
  • Label: SOLAR
35 1
Happy Holidays to You (re-release)
  • Released: 1982
  • Label: SOLAR
58
Love for Love
  • Released: 1983
  • Label: SOLAR
37 2
So Good
  • Released: 1984
  • Label: SOLAR
88 8
Just Gets Better with Time
  • Released: 1987
  • Label: SOLAR
22 3 63
More of the Night 83 8
Christmas Moments 42
Toast to the Ladies 92 8
Songbook, Vol. 1: The Songs of Babyface 27
For Your Ears Only
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Satin Tie
88
Thankful
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Kingdom
172 25
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

List of live albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
US
R&B/HH
Live from Las Vegas
  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Satin Tie
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

List of compilation albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
US
[17]
US
R&B/HH

[17]
Greatest Hits
  • Released: 1975
  • Label: Janus
48
The Best of the Whispers
  • Released: 1982
  • Label: SOLAR
180
Vintage Whispers
  • Released: 1989
  • Label: SOLAR
In the Mood
  • Released: 1990
  • Label: SOLAR
Greatest Hits
30th Anniversary Anthology
Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 1
  • Released: 1996
  • Label: SOLAR
87
Greatest Hits
  • Released: 1997
  • Label: SOLAR
89
The Best of the Whispers
Early Gold & New Spins
Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 2
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: SOLAR
Best of the Whispers
Anthology
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles[edit]

List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions
US
[21]
US
A/C

[22]
US
Dan

[23]
US
R&B/HH

[24]
BE (FLA)
[25]
FRA
[26][27]
IRE
[28]
NL
[29]
NZ
[30]
UK
[19]
"It Only Hurts for a Little While" 1964
"Never Again" 1965
"The Dip" 1965
"As I Sit Here" 1965
"Doctor Love" 1965
"I Was Born When You Kissed Me" 1966
"Take a Lesson From the Teacher" 1966
"You Got a Man on Your Hands" 1967
"Needle in a Haystack" 1967
"Great Day" 1968
"I Was Born When You Kissed Me" (re-release) 1969
"The Time Will Come" 1969 17
"What Will I Do" 1969
"Planets of Life" 1970
"Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" 1970 50 6
"I'm the One" 1970
"There's a Love for Everyone" 1970 [a] 31
"Your Love Is So Doggone Good" 1971 93 19
"Where Have You Been" 1971
"Can't Help But Love You" 1972 [b] 35
"I Only Meant to Wet My Feet" 1972 27
"Somebody Loves You" 1972 94 45
"P.O.W. - M.I.A. (Prisoners Of War - Missing In Action)" 1973
"Feel Like Comin' Home" 1973
"A Mother for My Children" 1973 92 32
"Bingo" 1974 40
"What More Can a Girl Ask For?" 1974 60
"Where There Is Love" 1974
"All I Ever Do (Is Dream of You)" 1975
"Give a Little Love" 1975
"In Love Forever" 1975 40
"One for the Money (Part 1)" 1976 88 22 10
"Living Together (In Sin)" 1976 [c] 21
"You're Only as Good as You Think You Are" 1977 91
"Make It with You" 1977 94 16 10
"I'm Gonna Make You My Wife" 1977 54
"(You're A) Special Part of My Life" 1978
"(Let's Go) All the Way" 1978 [d] 10
"(Olivia) Lost and Turned Out" 1978 13
"Happy Holidays to You" 1978
"Can't Do without Love" 1979 43
"Homemade Lovin'" 1979 66
"A Song for Donny" 1979 21
"And the Beat Goes On" 1979 19 1 1 30 12 14 19 7 2
"Lady" 1980 28 40 3 55
"My Girl" 1980 26
"Out the Box" 1980
"Imagination" 1980
"It's a Love Thing" 1981 28 4 2 9 10 17 11 9
"I Can Make It Better" 1981 [e] 4 40 44
"This Kind of Lovin'" 1981 20 17
"I'm the One for You" 1981
"In the Raw" 1982 [f] 8 8
"Emergency" 1982 22
"Love is Where You Find It" 1982
"Tonight" 1983 84 18 4
"Keep on Lovin' Me" 1983 18 4
"This Time" 1983 [g] 32 81
"Contagious" 1984 [h] 59 10 33 56
"Some Kinda Lover" 1985 [i] 17 91
"Don't Keep Me Waiting" 1985 60
"Hello Stranger" (with Carrie Lucas) 1985 20
"And the Beat Goes On" (re-release) 1987 26 39 45
"Rock Steady" 1987 7 49 1 45 38
"Special F/X" 1987 69
"Just Gets Better with Time" 1987 12
"In the Mood" 1987 16
"No Pain, No Gain" 1988 74 81
"Innocent" 1990 55 3
"My Heart Your Heart" 1990 4
"Mind Blowing" 1990
"Give It to Me" 1990
"Is It Good to You" 1991 7
"I Want 2B the 1 4U" 1991 58
"Make Sweet Love to Me" 1995 41
"Come on Home" 1995 60
"I'm Gonna Make You My Wife" (re-release) 1996
"Caravan of Love"
(with Russ Freeman & the Rippingtons)
1996 89
"My, My, My" 1997 73
"Where There Is Love" (re-release) 2002
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "There's a Love for Everyone" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but may have peaked at number 16 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[citation needed]
  2. ^ "Can't Help But Love You" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 14 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[31]
  3. ^ "Living Together (In Sin)" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[32]
  4. ^ "(Let's Go) All the Way" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 1 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[33]
  5. ^ "I Can Make It Better" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[34]
  6. ^ "In the Raw" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 3 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[35]
  7. ^ "This Time" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but may have peaked at number 10 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[citation needed]
  8. ^ "Contagious" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 5 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[36]
  9. ^ "Some Kinda Lover" did not enter the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 6 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[37]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Whispers Singles". Billboard. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ "The Whispers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Gold & Platinum The Whispers". RIAA. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  4. ^ Gail Mitchell (6 January 2016). "Whispers Co-Founder Nicholas Caldwell Dies At 71". Billboard. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  5. ^ "Gold Single". RIAA. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Gold & Platinum Album". RIAA. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  7. ^ a b c "Gold Album". RIAA. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Platinum Album". RIAA. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  9. ^ "The Whispers – Inductees – The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation". vocalgroup.org. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  10. ^ "MixLine Feature: The Doobies, The Whispers Honored at S.F. Chapter of the Recording Academy's 2005 Governors Awards". Mixonline. 16 June 2005. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  11. ^ "20th Annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation's Pioneer Awards Show • Bonnie's Pride and Joy". Bonnie's Pride and Joy. 12 September 2008. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  12. ^ "SoulMusic.com". archive.is. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  13. ^ "The Whispers and Tony Cornelius Plan a "Family Reunion" at A Wine Tasting… | Soul Train Cruise". soultraincruise.com. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  14. ^ "We Remember: Nick Caldwell of the Whispers Dies at 71", EuroWeb. Retrieved 6 January 2016
  15. ^ "R.I.P. Grady Wilkins, musical director of the Whispers | SoulTracks - Soul Music Biographies, News and Reviews". SoulTracks. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  16. ^ Tashombe: Celebrating the Life of Fulton L. Tashombe – YouTube Video – Facebook, R.I.P
  17. ^ a b c d "US Charts > The Whispers". Billboard. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  18. ^ "CAN Charts > The Whispers". RPM. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  19. ^ a b "UK Charts > The Whispers". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e "US Certifications > The Whispers". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  21. ^ "The Whispers". Billboard. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  22. ^ "The Whispers". Billboard. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  23. ^ "The Whispers". Billboard. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  24. ^ "The Whispers". Billboard. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  25. ^ "ULTRATOP BELGIAN CHARTS". ultratop.be. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  26. ^ "InfoDisc : Les Tubes de chaque Artiste commençant par W". www.infodisc.fr. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  27. ^ "Les charts français". lescharts.com. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  28. ^ "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  29. ^ "Dutch Charts". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  30. ^ "New Zealand charts portal". charts.nz. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  31. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" (PDF). Billboard. 19 February 1972. p. 50. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  32. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" (PDF). Billboard. 6 November 1976. p. 24. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  33. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" (PDF). Billboard. 22 July 1978. p. 32. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  34. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" (PDF). Billboard. 23 May 1981. p. 31. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  35. ^ "Bubbling Under the Hot 100" (PDF). Billboard. 27 February 1982. p. 64. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  36. ^ "Bubbling Under" (PDF). Billboard. 19 January 1985. p. 69. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  37. ^ "Bubbling Under" (PDF). Billboard. 13 April 1985. p. 73. Retrieved 16 October 2021.

External links[edit]