And the beat goes on for the le­gendary Whis­pers

Sunday World - - NEWS - SOMAYA STOCKENSTROOM

THE Whis­pers are any­thing but silent.

They are true to the say­ing that you sleep only when you are dead.

They cel­e­brated their 50th an­niver­sary last year.

They have been in­vited to per­form in South Africa for a sec­ond time where they have a huge fan base. The con­cert meant to take place this year was post­poned to March next year af­ter one of their orig­i­nal mem­bers, Ni­cholas Cald­well, died in Jan­uary this year at the age of 71.

They are one of very few male bands that have sur­vived the mu­sic in­dus­try without al­ter­ing their sound. They have stood the test of time but how?

– Wal­ter Scott, twin to Wal­lace Scott, says the an­swer is sim­ple: A mu­tual re­spect and love for “each other.”

Their other mem­bers were Mar­cus Hut­son, and Gordy Har­mon, but Har­mon left the group in 1971 and was re­placed by Leaveil De­gree. Hut­son died in the year 2000.

Today the mem­bers are Wal­lace bet­ter known as Scotty ”, his brother Wal­ter and “De­gree.

All the way from the States, Scott, who gloats that he is 23years-old go­ing strong, says he is as ex­cited as he was in his teens to what he is now when he gets on stage to per­form. I can prom­ise you that none of “us has lost our spunk. We plan to give South Africa the per­for­mance of a life­time. We still have all that en­ergy and more that we had back in the 1960s. We love that peo­ple of all ages still find our hits And The Beat Goes On as well as Rock Steady rel­e­vant to these days and times. That s the

’ beauty of R&B and soul it never

– quite goes out of style,” he says.

Scott ex­plains that they all met at school and had a mu­tual love of mu­sic.

They ini­tially called them­selves The Eden Trio jam­ming on the street cor­ners of Los An­ge­les.

Once they were signed to Lou Bedell of Dore Records they were re­named The Whis­pers, says Scott. We were told that when we “sing the lyrics are sub­tle, al­most like a whis­per,” he laughs.

Their first plat­inum al­bum was The Whis­pers in 1980 with the hit A Song For Donny ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Donny Hath­away. The same song was remixed into a Christ­mas ver­sion. Had you asked me when we “started back then if we would still be around in 2016 I would prob­a­bly have laughed and said no. It s not easy do­ing this thing

’ but we are truly blessed. It is only through God s grace,” he says.

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