Nick Caldwell of The Whispers holding The Post. Photo by George Livingston.
Scotty & Leaveil of The Whispers taken at The Hollywood Greek Theater in 1983. Photo by George Livingston Jr., then Post Newspaper Entertainment Assistant Editor.
By George and
The Paramount Theater recently was filled with two legends gracing the stage. The Whispers and Gladys Knight had the crowd entertained with classic tunes that mostly have not been on the music charts in 30 years.
The Whispers, who the Bay Area has embraced as a local group, has obtained international status with hits such as: “Rock Steady,” “The Beat Goes On,” “Do They Turn You On” and a couple unfamiliar tunes that the groups perform in a style that is a crowd pleaser.
The Whispers were a five-man group that has been reduced to four for nearly 20 years due to the passing of Marcus Hutson.
The vocals of twin brothers Walter and Wallace Scott, Nicholas Caldwell and Leveil Degree after 40 plus years still give the audience a thrill.
The band is directed by the Bay Area’s Grady Wilkins on keyboards and another keyboardist Dwayne Sweet, with comic antics with James Brown leg splits that bring the crowd to uproar.
With no introduction, Gladys Knight appeared on stage with a beaming smile, looking graceful and current as any of the artists who blaze the music charts today.
Knight conveyed an appreciation to the audience for supporting her for many years and her recent appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.”
She performed classics hits: “Neither One of Us” and “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” She still has the voice to give the fans what they have remembered from her early days in a career that has spanned over 50 years.
A highlight to the evening was an appearance by former backup singer, a member of the group, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Merald “Bubba” Knight, Gladys’ older brother who came on stage to perform a comic rendition of Al Green hit “Love and Happiness” that had the audience in stitches from laughter.
The Nov. 16 show concluded with Knight singing her classic “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Currently, she can be seen on BET’s “Apollo Live!”