Nicholas Caldwell, co-founding member of one of our all-time favorite groups, The Whispers, has died at age 71 after a long battle with heart disease.
Caldwell was not only a mainstay in the group for its half century of hitmaking, he also wrote and produced many songs for The Whispers and for other artists, including Phil Perry. He fought a courageous battle against the dreaded disease, and, once it became public last July, fans of the group became prayer warriors, supporting the artist and his fight in a truly heartwarming way.
Caldwell often considered himself a changed man for his development as a husband and a man of faith over the past two decades. He recounted his wilder younger days in an episode of TV One’s Unsung, and, with his wife beside him, talked of his conversion into a man who could be admired as much for how he lived his life as for his music.
Formed in LA in the early 60s, the Whispers have certainly taken a “slow and steady” career course in which they have quietly become one of the most successful modern soul groups. Consisting of twin brothers Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott, Nicholas Caldwell, Marcus Hutson and Leaveil Degree (who replaced departing member Gordy Harmon in 1973), the Whispers first recorded for local LA label Dore Records, hitting the pop and R&B charts with “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong” in 1970. They continued to be a mid level charting act throughout the ’70s on the Don Cornelius/Dick Griffey “Soul Train” label but gain momentum toward the end of the decade when Griffey, who was their manager, created his own SOLAR label and worked with the group on their SOLAR debut album Headlights, which scored a moderate hit with “Olivia.”
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