Fans of The Whispers mourned the loss of Nicholas “Nick” Caldwell, at Glad Tidings Church of God in Christ on Saturday, Jan. 17. He was 71.
Caldwell who had been ill for the past two years, passed away on Jan. 5.
Best known as a writer of ballads and love songs dedicated to women all over the world, Caldwell wrote memorable favorites; “Just Gets Better with Time,” “Rock Steady” and “Lady.”
He was also famous for his fancy footwork and was the choreographer of the Whispers.
At the celebration of life event, family, friends and entertainment industry leaders recollected how Caldwell was the ultimate family man, husband and the man of God.
Group members Walter Scott, Wallace “Scotty” Scott and Leaveil Degree spoke of the brotherhood they shared through the decades.
“He was my rock,” said Walter Scott. “When (group member) Marcus Hutson died, Nick was the one to console us and in when his own mother passed away, Nick was the one to console everyone – that’s just the kind of person he was.”
Caldwell was described as gentle, wise and a swimmer, poet and choreographer in high school The Scotts credited him with helping them form the group and creating performance moves to accompany their harmonies.
“We’ve been travelling together for 50 years with a crew of 18 people, said Scott. “It was Nick that encouraged us to create a show and 20 years into our success, he began a Tuesday Bible study for us. When he read the bible, the entertainer and a Christian man merged into one.”
Whispers member Leaveil Degree credited Caldwell for teaching him the dance moves, but also how to “love better.” When Nick reconciled with his wife, (Alberta of 23 years), it taught me how to love, I told him we both have the best wives in the world.”
“We always knew he was the leader of the group,” said Scott.
Pastor Jesse Gistand delivered the eulogy. “When you demonstrate the power of the gospel in your life, it creates a transformative effect so that others can see the glory of God in your life,” he said. “As family members testified today, that is exactly what Nick did.”
Industry leaders and entertainers included band members and management of Tower of Power, the Escovedo family and Maze, Tony Saunders, Ricardo Scales
The Whispers held their Home For the Holidays concert Thanksgiving weekend at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, produced by Lionel Bea’s Bay Area Productions. That night, the group celebrated 51 years in the business and though unable to perform, Caldwell surprised fans and appeared on stage at the end of the show.
“By God’s grace I’m here, thank you so much for your support,” he said as fans gave him a standing ovation.
Caldwell is survived by his wife Alberta, six children: Kevin, Yvonne, Leslie, Xavier, Rusty, and Christopher. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren, his brother Walter Ray Williams and an extended family.