The Whispers Celebrate 50 Years in the Business

This article was originally posted here.

“And The Beat Goes On” for legendary recording group The Whispers! The iconic rhythm and blues singers Leaveil Degree, Nicholas Caldwell, Wallace, and Walter Scott are celebrating 50 years in the music industry and show no signs of slowing down. Known for hit singles such as “It’s a Love Thing”, “Rock Steady”, “Chocolate Girl” and of course “And The Beat Goes On” these Hall of Fame inductees continue to sell out venues across the country including here at Newark Symphony Hall. Who would have guessed that in 1964, a group of young men from Watts, California, would become arguably one of the most influential musical groups in R&B?

Recently I was able to speak with Walter Scott, to get his take on The Whispers’ longevity, up-and-coming artists, new music, and more.

How have the Whispers managed to maintain this level of longevity in the music industry?

“You know I attribute that to the music itself. Today we’re in the era of Hip-Hop, and Hip-Hop is so great and I’m sure that 20 years from now people will be doing the same thing, but the thing I love about rhythm and blues is the era and generation we [The Whispers] come from is simple music.  Like Hip-Hop, it deals with life and things that actually happen, and in its own way rhythm and blues are like that.  And I think rhythm and blues music is something that people can relate to in their daily lives.  And in our [The Whispers] case we’ve learned to put on a really good show. It means everything to us! To make sure you enjoyed the show enough so that you come back to see us the next time. And I think that’s why people come from near and far.

What advice would you give to new performers?

The one difference between the younger acts and the older acts is one word [and we’re kind of like this when we were their age] humility.  Always understand that you are no better than those people that paid money to come to see you. Include them! Today the youngsters kind of have this arrogance. Almost as if they’re saying to the audience that ‘you should be glad I came or showed up, and it really is the other way around.  We’re [The Whispers] glad that they [the fans] showed up. And as long as you keep that humility and show people that you respect them, they are going to come to see you if you’re putting on a good show, and your music gives them what they want to hear.

Are there any younger artists you listen to now?

I love all of them! You know I think the females are kind of out front now.  You can say what you want but Beyonce is a supremely talented young lady and she is ahead of the pack and she deserves to be because she does her homework. But all of them! John Legend is extremely talented and he is very articulate on speaking on ideas outside of the industry and community.  There are a lot of young people I am impressed with.

The last musical release from The Whispers was Thankful in 2009. Can we expect any new music from The Whispers in the future?

We are in the process now of negotiating with Time Life. We want to celebrate our 50th year in the business so we [the Whispers] would very much like to have a new project come out before the year is out to commemorate our 50th year in the business. We’ve been working on new music, we always are working on new music. It is just a matter of getting it published and marketed. Today’s industry is much different. You might have the music, but to have it marketed properly so everybody can get to hear it that’s another story. That’s what we are in the process now of trying to hopefully by September maybe August get something out. But as of now, we are still in the negotiating process.

Who will The Whispers be working with on this new album?

Well, I can’t really say that now but we are going to try and involve some young people…so be on the lookout.

The Whispers’ latest album Thankful features 10 tracks including “Walk With Me”, “Did You Know”, “Praise His Holy Name”, “One More Chance”, “For Thou Art With Me”, “Who Could It Be”, “We Need You”, “This Is How I Feel”,  “In The Name of Jesus”, and “Living Without You” and is available for purchase via all major e-distributors including Amazon, iTunes, and CDBaby.

“People love The Whispers because I think people know The Whispers love them,” says Walter Scott.

To purchase tickets to the Mother’s Day concert on Friday, May 9, 2014 featuring The Whispers & Jeffrey Osborne at Newark Symphony Hall please visit the Newark Symphony Hall Box Office located at 1030 Broad Street in Newark, New Jersey or call 973-643-8014.

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