posted by Robert J. Carmack blues2jazzguy
One of the Original members of the R&B group,The Whispers has passed at the age of 71. The cause of death are not totally clear as Caldwell was facing several life threatening challenges as recently as part of last year , when he went on the record and wrote an open letter to his public and fans about his bout with Congestive Heart Failure and was optimistic about some alternative medical procedures that would elongate his life.
Some fans were treated toward the last of 2015 with actually seeing Nick as he was called by friends and fans alike perform with the group, The Whispers. In speaking to a close friend today, who had just spoke to Nick as recently as New Years eve, said, “We talked for a longtime on the phone and he gave me the impression he was feeling good and was looking forward to more shows in the near future. No indication that there was new setbacks. Four days later, Nicholas Caldwell, 71, passes on to the great jam session with Natalie Cole and the rest in the sky.
Always the one all the ladies would whisper about in the audiences , Nick’s outgoing personality and suave and sophisticated moves on stage set the group apart from their contemporaries, which Nicholas was charged with that responsibilty to keep the group moving and grooving. In addition to choreography, Caldwell also wrote a lot of the Whispers classic songs, centered around love and romance. This writer who saw them from the very beginning of their recording career in 1964 with Dore records as a Teenager. The Whispers were a favorite at the Hunter Hancock (local DJ) Record Hops. Hancock was one of most popular R&B soul DJ in Los Angeles at Radio station KGFJ.
NIcholas Caldwell was born and bred in Los Angeles, when Walter & Scotty (Twins) met him. They were competing against each other at teen record hops in Watts (now called South Central Los Angeles) and at Jordan High school which he attended with other members , Marcus Huston, The Two twins and the other original member Gordy Harmon was much older, but lived in Watts close to Jordan Downs projects gymnasium. It served as the early “gig spot” for the budding group The Whispers. Formed in L.A. in the early 1960s, the Whispers certainly took 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 gained 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 with “Olivia.”