GORDY HARMON a co-founder of the Whispers, died last Thursday, 5th January. Reports suggest he died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 79. The following message was posted on the Whispers’ Instagram page: “We are saddened by the passing of one of the founders and former member of the Whispers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and his memory and his contributions will never be forgotten. Much love.”
Harmon co-founded the group in Watts, Los Angeles in 1963 with Marcus Hutson, Nicholas Caldwell, and brothers Wallace and Walter Scott. The outfit recorded for the local Dore label in 1964 before signing with Soul Clock where they enjoyed success with ‘The Time Will Come’ in 1969. The Whispers’ first Top 10 R&B was the ballad ‘Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong’ in 1970.
The group enjoyed more hits with the Janus label including ‘Your Love Is So Doggone Good’ in 1971. Harmon left in 1973, after injuring his larynx in a driving accident. He was replaced in the line-up by Leaveil Degree, who had briefly been a member of Friends of Distinction.
The new look Whispers went on to be one of the most successful soul and crossover pop vocal groups of the 1970s and 80s recording for Soul Train and then (hugely successfully) for Dick Griffey’s Solar label.
Nicholas Caldwell died in 2016 and Marcus Hutson in 2000; the Scott brothers remain active to this day. The group were inducted into the R’n’B Music Hall of Fame in 2014.