NEWS

BAY AREA CELEBRATES THE WHISPERS LONGEVITY

BAY AREA CELEBRATES THE WHISPERS LONGEVITY



It was called the 44th Year Awards Celebration and Anniversary Dinner, but in reality, it was a “Love Fest”. Fans, friends, musicians and loved ones all gathered to shower their love and affection on the legendary Whispers at Humphrey’s On the Delta in Antioch, California.


It was a beautiful, bright and sun-drenched day on Sunday, July 1, 2007. Leaveil, Scotty, Walter and Nicholas were welcomed by over 250 excited guests as they entered the lavished ballroom at Humphrey’s. After autographs, pictures and plenty of hugs, Kevin Brown, Program Director from KBLX Radio in San Francisco, opened the evening’s festivities with a few of his best memories about the Whispers.
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Kevin begin by sharing a story about a recent performance at the Paramount Theatre where fans were disappointed in the artist’s concert as well as the artist’s behavior with the guests that were in attendance. In contrast, he stated that he has been attending Whispers’ concerts for the past 17 years, and they have never put on a bad concert nor have they ever been disrespectful to their fans. His comments were greeted with resounding cheers and applauds.

Kevin went on to share a story about his daily contest called “Over Thirty, Under Thirty” where he pits the younger callers against the older callers. He asks the listeners questions about nostalgic TV Shows to see who has the most knowledge. On one occasion, he asked one of the “under 30” callers to identify the show with characters named Scotty, Mr. Spock, Sulu and Dr. McCoy. The young caller proudly exclaimed, “Oh that’s the Whispers!”

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Kevin presented the Whispers with an award on behalf of KBLX FM Radio for their years in the music industry.

Betty Smith, a representative from the City of Antioch, was the second presenter. Her first gesture was to state how much she loved Scotty. The she proceeded to present the Whispers with the 44th Anniversary Award. She also informed the guests that she was in the process of raising funds to have the Whispers perform at the City’s Annual Jamboree held each summer.

As the Whispers joined Betty on Stage, with tears flowing, they expressed their gratitude, and as always, gave all the credit to their fans. Nick asked them all to take some time to listen to the last cut on the CD, “For Your Ears Only” called,
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“The Whispers Love You Too”. He said that the words say exactly how the Whispers feel about their fans. Leaveil shared the story about how he joined the group 38 years ago. He was never treated any differently than any other member. The only problem was that he had to sing “Off stage” for months before he was allowed to perform on stage. In those days, the Whispers’ act consisted of all types of acrobatics and Nick wanted to make sure Leaveil knew every step of the choreography. Everyone knows how perfectionistic the Whispers are about their stage presence.

Betty’s presentation was followed by a dialogue written and spoken by Frank Williams to the tune of “In The Mood”.

The next presenter was Dtrump from “Entropremer Entertainment”; He explained that James Levi, one of the most popular drummers in the Bay Area, had mentioned the Whispers 44th anniversary dinner to him, and he wanted to make a presentation on behalf of young entertainers. His framed poem states:

And the beat goes on, 40 years strong,
hit after hit, song after song,
Legendary musicians, that’s what’s going on,
Role models to youth, if they chose to see the truth.

Don’t look to hard, cause the Whispers are living proof,
A groove to lift your spirits when everything’s wrong.
Even though I’m young, I was dancing with my diapers on,
It wasn’t long, I learned to Rock Steady,
I saw the sharp suits and dance moves.
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Are you ready?
For many more years of the Whispers legacy,
Hall of fame musicians and lyricists, you’d better be,
It’s a beautiful time in history to commend them
And look at me now.

Having the honor to present this on everything I love,
Respect times two,
On behalf of D-Trump and the youth
We Thank You.

George “Jazzbo” Spencer was the fifth presenter. His first experience with the Whispers was as one of the musicians who went on the road with them when their hit, “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong” was climbing the charts. He recalled how hey used econoline as their transportation across country. Their first trip was to Houston; they went to the store, picked up their groceries and hit the road, driving non-stop to their destination. Upon their arrival, the promoter inquired as to why they were there. The Whispers replied, “We’re her for our performance” to which the promoter replied, “But you’re a month too early”. So they packed up their stuff, drove non-stop home, and the next month, they went shopping for groceries, jumped on the econoline and drove non-stop back to Houston.

Jazzbo quoted Duke Ellington,” There are two kinds of music … good music and the other kind”. The Whispers has always provided good music to their fans; their music is timeless and internationally acclaimed reaching all genders and age groups.

Jazzbo went on to acknowledge one of the Whispers Marketing Directors, George Aubrey, who he worked with for many years in the sixties, seventies, and eighties. George managed many groups and promoted many concerts. To everyone’s surprise, Jazzbo presented George an award for all his years in the business. George, still in shock, had to be coaxed up to the front to accept the award. The Whispers gave George a standing ovation.

Jazzbo would have gone on with many more stories had not James Levi grabbed him by the arm and escorted him off the stage.

After the presentations, it was showtime. Vivian Walker, the event planner in charge and sister to Betty Smith, first expressed that “Betty loves Scotty, but I love Walter, but Oh that Nick, but then again ooh-wee Leaveil …”; she just couldn’t make up her mind!

The show opened with Freddie Hughes who rocked the house with “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You”, followed by his 1968 number one hit, “Send My Baby Back”.

Dr. Karriem Muhmmad, the organizer and promoter of the dinner and awards ceremony performed a song from his CD entitled, “April Fool” followed by a few standards (Autumn Leaves, Danny Boy and What a Wonderful World). He informed the guests that some of the funds raised from this event will go to prostate cancer and the Ronald McDonald House (A place where kids with cancer can stay with their family when seeking treatment away from home).

Harvey Scales had the crowd on its feet and cheering with delight; his fingers worked wonders on the piano; he is known as the “Black Liberace” and works regularly at the “Top of the Mark” in San Francisco”; any and everybody should see him at least once in their lifetime … absolutely wonderful! He has a new Cd called “I’m Here”.

The program ended with a salute to the Whispers by The Richard Lewis Band; they sang such songs as Olivia and It Just Gets Better with Time; what a great way to end a Love Fest.

Afterwards the Whispers took pictures with the guests and said their goodbyes until the next time they meet in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area where the Whispers began their career.


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