The Whispers

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This article is about The Whispers, a vocal group from the U.S.. For the Australian band of this name, see Ray Brown & The Whispers. For the ABC TV Series, see The Whispers (TV series). For other uses, see Whisper (disambiguation).
The Whispers
Origin Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Genres Boogie, soul, funk
Years active 1964–present
Labels Soul Clock
Janus
Solar
Capitol
Associated acts Collage
Website thewhispers.com
Members Wallace Scott
Walter Scott
Leaveil Degree
Past members Marcus Hutson (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. The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003,[1] and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's Pioneer Award in 2008.[2] By popular vote, the group was inducted into The SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com in December 2012.[3]

Career[edit]

The Whispers formed in 1964 in Watts, California. The original members included 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. Scotty Scott's fluid, melodic voice is featured on virtually all of their hits.

The group scored many hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts throughout the 1970s and 1980s, and they hit #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1980 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 #7, while also capturing the #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 in 2000, they vowed to never replace him and started performing as a quartet.

Jerry McNeil resigned his position as keyboardist in the latter part of 1993 in order to spend more time with his family. In 2014, The Whispers was 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 January 5, 2016.[4]

Personnel[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Wallace "Scotty" Scott (born September 23, 1943, Fort Worth, Texas) (1964–present)
  • Walter Scott (born September 23, 1943, Fort Worth, Texas) (1964–present)
  • Leaveil Degree (born July 31, 1948, New Orleans, Louisiana) (1973–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Marcus Hutson (born January 8, 1943, St Louis, Missouri, died 2000) (1964-1992)
  • Gordy Harmon (1964-1973)
  • Nicholas Caldwell (born April 5, 1944, Loma Linda, California; died January 5, 2016)[5] (1964-2016)

Former musical director[edit]

  • Grady "G" Wilkins Jr— musician, writer, producer, vocalist, keyboardist and musical director of the whispers. Born December 30, 1955 in San Francisco, California and died December 19, 2013.[6]

Supporting musicians[edit]

  • Emilio Conesa — guitar
  • John Valentino — saxophone
  • Jamie Brewer — bass
  • Melvin Coleman — bass
  • Dewayne Sweet — keyboards
  • Reggie Rugley — keyboards, programming

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Certifications Record label
US
[7]
US
R&B

[7]
CAN
[8]
UK
[9]
1970 The Whispers Soul Clock
1972 The Whispers' Love Story 186 34 Janus
Life and Breath 44
1973 Planets of Life 48
1974 Bingo 40
1976 One for the Money 189 40 Soul Train
1977 Open Up Your Love 65 23
1978 Headlights 77 22 80 SOLAR
1979 Whisper in Your Ear 146 28
Happy Holidays to You 201 50
The Whispers 6 1
1980 Imagination 23 3 42
1981 This Kind of Lovin' 100 15
Love Is Where You Find It 35 1
1982 Happy Holidays to You (re-release) 58
1983 Love for Love 37 2
1984 So Good 88 8
1987 Just Gets Better with Time 22 3 63
1990 More of the Night 83 8 Capitol
1994 Christmas Moments 42
1995 Toast to the Ladies 92 8
1997 Songbook, Vol. 1: The Songs of Babyface 27 Interscope
2006 For Your Ears Only 88 Satin Tie
2009 Thankful 172 25 Kingdom
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Chart positions Record label
US US
R&B
2007 Live from Las Vegas Satin Tie
"—" denotes the album failed to chart

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak chart positions Record label
US
[7]
US
R&B

[7]
1975 Greatest Hits 48 Janus
1982 The Best of the Whispers 180 SOLAR
1989 Vintage Whispers
1990 In the Mood
Greatest Hits Unidisc
1994 30th Anniversary Anthology Sequel
1996 Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 1 87 SOLAR
1997 Greatest Hits 89
2000 The Best of the Whispers EMI-Capitol
2001 Early Gold & New Spins Purple Pyramid
Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 2 SOLAR
2002 Best of the Whispers BMG Int'l
2003 Anthology The Right Stuff
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Singles (non - comprehensive)[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US
[7]
US
R&B

[7]
US
A/C

[7]
US
Dan

[7]
UK
[9]
1969 "The Time Will Come" 19
1970 "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" 50 6
"There's a Love for Everyone" 116 31
1971 "Your Love Is So Doggone Good" 93 19
1972 "Can't Help But Love You" 114 35
"I Only Meant to Wet My Feet" 27
"Somebody Loves You" 94 45
1974 "A Mother for My Children" 92 32
"Bingo" 40
"What More Can a Girl Ask For?" 60
"Where There Is Love" 15
1975 "In Love Forever" 40
1976 "One for the Money (Part 1)" 88 10 4
"Living Together (In Sin)" 101 21
1977 "You're Only as Good as You Think You Are" 91
"Make It with You" 94 10 16
"I'm Gonna Make You My Wife" 54
1978 "(Let's Go) All the Way" 101 10
"(Olivia) Lost and Turned Out" 13
1979 "Can't Do without Love" 43
"Homemade Lovin'" 66
"A Song for Donny" 21
1980 "And the Beat Goes On" 19 1 1 2
"Lady" 28 3 40 55
"My Girl" 26
1981 "It's a Love Thing" 28 2 4 9
"I Can Make It Better" 105 40 44
"This Kind of Lovin'" 17 20
1982 "In the Raw" 103 8 8
"Emergency" 22
1983 "Tonight" 84 4 18
"Keep on Lovin' Me" 4
"This Time" 110 32 81
1984 "Contagious" 105 10 59 56
1985 "Some Kinda Lover" 106 17 91
"Don't Keep Me Waiting" 60
"Hello Stranger" (with Carrie Lucas) 20
1987 "And the Beat Goes On" (re-release) 45
"Rock Steady" 7 1 49 38
"Special F/X" 69
"Just Gets Better with Time" 12
"In the Mood" 16
1988 "No Pain, No Gain" 74 81
1990 "Innocent" 55 3
"My Heart Your Heart" 4
1991 "Is It Good to You" 7
"I Want 2B the 1 4U" 58
1995 "Make Sweet Love to Me" 41
"Come on Home" 60
1996 "Caravan of Love" (with Russ Freeman & the Rippingtons) 89
1997 "My, My, My" 73
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Awards and recognition[edit]

The Whispers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

The Whispers were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation's prestigious Pioneer Award in 2008.

SoulMusic Hall Of Fame at SoulMusic.com[edit]

  • Inducted: Group Or Duo* (December 2012)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]