R&B vocal group formed in 1964 had its greatest success with 1980s dance hits like "Rock Steady".
On September 23, 1943, were born twin brothers, Walter and Wallace Scott; anchors for the r&b vocal group, the Whispers.
On April 5, 1944 was born Nicholas Caldwell of the Whispers.
After almost 30 years together, twin vocalists Walter and Wallace Scott finally went on their own. They had been the anchors for the Whispers since 1964, and their 1993 self-titled debut wasn't far from their Whispers selections. It accented the same cool, stylish, sentimental ballads and lyrical fare that made their many hits successful.
The Whispers are a veteran R&B quintet with an impressive 23-year legacy of R&B hits. Formed in Los Angeles by twins Walter and Wallace Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson, and Gordy Harmon (who left in 1973), The Whispers turned up on the Dore label in 1964 with "I Was Born When You Kissed Me." In 1969, the quintet climbed the soul charts for the first time with "The Time Has Come" on Soul Clock, and they cracked the R&B Top Ten the next year with "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong." They've remained hitmakers ever since for the labels Janus, Soul Train, and Solar, with smashes like the solid gold chart-topper "And the Beat Goes On" in 1980 and another number one urban contemporary hit, "Rock Steady," in 1987. After being their backbone and selling point since the group's inception, twin lead vocalists Walter and Wallace Scott took time out for solo careers in 1993, but remain with the Whispers.
Formed in LA in the early 60s, the Whispers have certainly taken a "slow and steady" career course in which they have quietly become one of the most successful modern soul groups. Consisting of twin brothers Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson and Leaveil Degree (who replaced departing member Gordy Harmon in 1973), the Whispers first recorded for local LA label Dore Records, hitting the pop and R&B charts with "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" in 1970. They continued to be a mid level charting act throughout the 70s on the Don Cornelius/Dick Griffey "Soul Train" label but gained momentum toward the end of the decade when Griffey, who was their manager, created his own SOLAR label and worked with the group on their SOLAR debut album Headlights, which scored a moderate with with "Olivia."
After so many years, the Whispers seemed destined to remain a a middling act that would never achieve real large scale international attention. Then in 1980, Griffey teamed them with upcoming writer/producer Leon Sylvers, and the result was "And the Beat Goes On," one of the most infectious songs of the disco era and the single that thrust the Whispers to the top tier of soul artists. "And the Beat Goes On" was included on the excellent Whispers album along with two other instant classics, the Caldwell-penned ballad "Lady" and "A Song For Donny," a touching tribute to Donny Hathaway sung to the tune of Hathaway's "This Christmas" (with lyrics by Whispers labelmate Carrie Lucas).
The 80s brought a string of monster soul chart success for the Whispers, with additional hits "It's A Love Thing," "Keep On Lovin Me" and "Tonight," though crossover success was more limited. The group appeared to lose steam in the second half of the decade, but a hot dance tune written by then-unknown Deele member Babyface brought the Whispers back, as the excellent "Rock Steady" shot to the top of Pop, Soul and Dance charts. The group left Solar for Capitol in 1990 and continued to record soul hits through the mid-90s, garnering success with "Innocent," "My Heart Your Heart" and "Is It Good To You." Sadly, they lost group member Grady Harmon to cancer in 2000.
After leaving Capitol, the group recorded a solid, but underappreciated 1997 album of Babyface covers, Songbook Vol. 1: The Songs of Babyface, for Interscope Records. It was nearly a decade before the issuance of their next album, the self-released For Your Ears Only, a surprise hit that topped the CDBaby independent CD charts for several weeks. In 2009, the Whispers issued their first Gospel album,Thankful, collaborating with Unified Tribe's Magic Mendez as well as Fred Hammond, among others. The first song, "For Thou Art With Me," hit radio in Summer 2009. The disc was a moderate hit, and the group followed later with a live album.
The Whispers continue to perform both alone and in multi-artist shows around the world, and fifty years after joining together they are still a model for consistency and unity in song.
"Honor the past, don't just remember it." Dizzie Gillespie
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