Starting on R&B and soul
R&B/soul/dance vocal group The Whispers formed in Watts, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The founding members included: twin brothers Wallace (aka “Scotty”) and Walter Scott, Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicolas Caldwell.
In the year that they were established, The Whispers signed up on the Dore label and released their first single there, “I Was Born When You Kissed Me.” The group achieved their first charting single with “The Time Will Come,” released on Soul Clock label in 1969. It perched at #17 on the soul charts that same year.
In 1973, Marcus Hutson was involved in a drunk driving accident which injured his larynx, which of course rendered him unable to sing. Because of this, Hutson left, and he was replaced by Leaveil Degree, formerly of another band Friends of Distinction.
Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, the Whispers frequented the charts. In 1970, the group achieved their first R&B Top 10 hit with “Seems like I Gotta Do Wrong.”
Entering the dance and disco territory
More notable R&B hits included “There’s A Love For Everyone,” “Your Love Is So Doggone Good,” “I Only Meant to Wet My Feet,” “Can’t Help But Love You,” “Somebody Loves You,” “Bingo,” and “What More Can A Girl Ask For?” before The Whispers broke into the dance charts for the first time with “Where There Is Love” (at #15).
In 1976, they reached the Top 10 dance hit charts with “One for the Money.” It also became their second Top 10 R&B hit, just barely making it there. Around that time until the mid-1970s the group recorded in Philadelphia, but they had been since cutting records in Los Angeles, California. In the late 1970s, they signed with SOLAR (Sounds of Los Angeles Records) label, and it was there where the Whispers attained much success.
Hitmakers on the dance charts
In 1980, they hit the top of both dance and R&B singles charts with “And the Beat Goes On” (which charted as “And The Beat Goes On”/”Can You Do The Boogie”/”Out Of The Box” on the dance charts). It also made it to the Top 20 on the Billboard pop chart at #19, and at #2 on the UK single chart that same year.
In the 1980s, They Whispers scored their string of hits most especially on the dance charts with “It’s a Love Thing” (at #28 pop, #4 dance, #2 R&B), “I Can Make It Better” (at #105 pop, #4 dance, #40 R&B), “This Kind of Lovin'” (at #20 dance, #17 R&B), “In the Raw” (at #103 pop, #8 dance, #8 R&B) and “Keep On Lovin'” (at #18 dance, #4 R&B), among all others.
In 1987, The Whispers returned to the top of the R&B charts with “Rock Steady,” which also entered for the first and final time on the Top 10 pop chart at #7, their biggest placing single there so far.
The Whispers in later years
The Whispers also participated at the 1989 World Series in Oakland, California, by opening Game 2 with their version of the National Anthem.
Plagued by prostate cancer, Hutson left The Whispers in 1992. After an eight-year battle with his condition, he died in 2000. He was never replaced, as The Whispers choosing to remain together as a quartet.
The musicians that back The Whispers are called The Whisper Band.
The Whispers have received many awards and citations, including an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003 and will be inducted into the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2014 (as of this writing).
The Scott twin brothers have sought their own solo careers, although they still remain with The Whispers.