Classics: The Whispers – Tonight (SOLAR)
Why ever would you change a winning team? On the heels of gems such as ‘It’s A Love Thing’ and ‘In The Raw’, The Whispers comin’ back with another cracker by the likes of the infectious bass-driven ‘Tonight’. Opening their 1983 ‘Love For Love’ album, it just spreads an irresistible feeling. Not only musicwise. But also because of its uplifting lyrics… “Tonight, we’re gonna paint the town. No more messin’ around. Tonight, I want to show the world this love I’ve found.” Not talkin’ about its vocal arrangements under the direction of former Raydio member Jerry Knight. A singer and bassist whom you might remember for the classic ‘Overnight Sensation’…
“I want to take it to the edge of your fantasies. Let me take you anywhere you think we should be…”. Well, looks like that’s pretty much what The Whispers did on this, huh?
Texas natives Walter and Wallace Scott formed The Whispers soon after moving to Los Angeles, CA back in 1964. Eventually joined by Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson and Gordy Harmon which Leaveil Degree replaced in 1973 after he injured his larynx in a car crash. The Whispers releasing their self-titled debut-album back in 1969 on Soul Clock.
The band had moderate success though until they started working with producer Leon F Sylvers III (Shalamar, Dynasty, Lakeside…). Their second eponymous album, released in 1979 including the memorable ‘And The Beat Goes On’ and ‘Out The Box’. 2 gems in an infectious vein which The Whispers set their new reputation on. Following the vibe with tracks such as ‘It’s A Love Thing’ and ‘I Can’t Make It Better For You’. But also ‘In The Raw’, ‘Tonight’ and ‘Contagious’. Not to mention ‘Rock Steady’ which saw them collaborating with the then emerging production pair made of L.A. & Babyface. As a matter of fact, it’s fair to say the band had their heyday on SOLAR.
Switching to Capitol Records with the release of their ‘More Of The Night’ album featuring the Robert Brookins produced ‘Innocent’, they started losin’ their status from then. Delivering a majority of M.O.R. R&B/Soul cuts.
Marcus Hutson left the group in 1992 due to prostate cancer and sadly died of it in 2000.
Nicholas Caldwell sadly passed of congestive heart failure on Jan. 05, 2016 at his Stockton, San Joaquin County, CA home.