Music from one of R&B’s most beloved groups, The Whispers, can still be heard rocking block parties, anniversaries, weddings, reunions, and more. The Whispers began their legendary and timeless career in 1963.
Known for their signature mustaches as well as their smooth voices, twin brothers Walter and Wallace Scott joined with friends Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson, and Gordy Harmon to form a local singing group. They perfected their tight harmonies on the street corners of Los Angeles all around the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area.
“We’ve been around for 53 years and so we’ve seen a lot of how the music business has changed. It has changed completely,” said Walter to the LA Sentinel.
They began singing together as “the Eden trio” created by Nicholas Caldwell and Marcus Hutson. Later, they were renamed “The Whispers” by Lou Bedell of Dore Records. The group recorded nine singles for the Dore label between 1964 and 1967. Their fame grew in the Bay Area while performing in a series of what was known as “The Battle of the Bands” where they competed against other local acts for their fans appreciation and affection. In 1969 they released “The Time Will Come” for a small L.A. based label Soul Clock Records, and subsequently recorded their first Top 10 R&B hit, “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong,” in 1970 when the group switched to Janus Records. By 1971 Gordy Harmon decided to leave the group and was replaced by Leaveil Degree who had previously sung with “The Friends of Distinction”.
More hits quickly followed like “Rock Steady,” “And the Beat Goes On,” “Keep on Loving Me,” and more.
“We watched rhythm and blues come in, disco, rap… we watched it all. It evolved into where it is now. And the thing is, twenty five years or so ago, we were beginning to be called ‘old school’ so we thought our career was over. What we didn’t realize is that, that was the greatest thing that could have happened to us because it really contributed to our longevity…”
The twins were born in the heart of the bible belt in Fort Worth, Texas and brought with them when they arrived in Los Angeles in 1959.
“I think the success that we’ve had is really attuned to being humble, never taking ourselves for granted or acting like we were bigger than we really were,” said Walter.
“We were taught that if you didn’t work and earn it then you didn’t deserve it. We came from what we now know was a poor beginning. But back then we didn’t know. We were fine. If anybody had told me coming from Watts California that I would end up in Lagos, Nigeria, Tokyo, Paris France… We had no idea the world was as big as it is.
On June 12, 2005, The San Francisco Chapter of the Grammy Awards presented the Whispers with the prestigious Governors Award, the highest honor bestowed by an Academy Chapter. They continue to perform to sell-out crowds all over the world, and their popularity continues to grow among youth whose parents “raised” them on the Whispers’ music.
They are also known for their charitable work with youth that participate in the PAL (Police Athletic League) Reading Program, and their ongoing support to domestic violence organizations and cancer agencies.
They are one of only a few “old School” groups that can boast of having over 50 years in the industry with a worldwide fan base, maintaining their vocal dominance and original members.
In 2020, the iconic soul band, decided to come together and release a new song in response to today’s racial climate. They say, from their perspective, not much has changed.
“We remember what it was like to