Walter Scott says The Whispers’ chosen genre has kept the R&B vocal group alive and active for more than 46 years — and counting.
“I think we were smart enough to select a type of music, straight-ahead rhythm & blues, that has staying power,” says Scott, 64, who started The Whispers with his twin brother Wallace “Scotty” Scott and remaining founding member Nicholas Caldwell in Los Angeles. The group is best-known for its hits “Rock Steady,” “And the Beat Goes On,” “Lady” and “Keep on Lovin’ Me.”
“I think that music is going to be there forever, and that was our music of choice from the very beginning. And we were lucky enough to meet each other when we were in junior high. We knew each other’s parents and grew up together and have this great camaraderie. As a result we’re still here ... which I will admit is a surprise.”
The Whispers did, however, get to try a new kind of music recently. “Thankful,” the group’s latest release, is The Whispers’ first-ever gospel collection and “a dream come true” for the Scott brothers.
“We promised our mom a long time ago we’d one day do a gospel album,” says Scott, who hopes The Whispers will do a jazz album next. “That’s what she wanted us to do in the first place; she never wanted us to go into the R&B segment. She used to say, ‘You’ve got to sing for God and leave the other stuff alone.
“So we promised her, but we never thought we’d get the opportunity to do a gospel CD. We were having R&B hits, and the record companies wanted to stick with what they think is successful. But we found a (label) that would do one with us, so now our public can hear where we came from, from a spiritual standpoint. That feels really good.”
The Whispers perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15, at Sound Board in the MotorCity Casino-Hotel, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $43 and $39. Call 313-237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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