FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 23, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas 213-974-2222
James Bolden 213-200-5314
SUPERVISOR RIDLEY-THOMAS LEADS BOARD IN HONORING LEGENDARY GROUP ‘THE WHISPERS’
Board recognizes group as part of Black Music Month observance
LOS ANGELES – To the beat of “Rock Steady,” the 1987 Top 10 single by the legendary rhythm and blues group The Whispers, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and the Board of Supervisors observed Black Music Month and honored the group for more than four decades of memorable entertainment.
The Board of Supervisors recognized the group as part of the County’s observance of Black Music Month, created in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter. A quarter century later, the White House continues to issue an annual Black Music Month proclamation paying tribute to artists of the past and present.
The Supervisor took pride in noting how the Whispers, whose careers began in the Watts area, climbed the music charts in the 70's and 80's with hits like "And the Beat Goes On"; the ballad "Lady"; and "A Song for Donny", a tribute to Donny Hathaway. In 1987, "Rock Steady" held the Top 40 spot becoming their first Top 10 success on the Hot 100, capturing the #1 spot on the R&B Chart.
“For over 4 decades the Whispers have brought the musical genre of Rhythm and Blues worldwide,” the Supervisor said. “They continue to preserve and promote the legacy and contribution of Black music created that communicates across racial boundaries.”
“I’m proud to celebrate the extraordinary talents and creativity of African-American musicians and composers who have enriched our cultures, as the month of June is dedicated Black Music Month."
PHOTO W/ CAPTION
Members of The Whispers pose with Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas during the Board of Supervisors meeting honoring the group in observance of Black Music Month. From left, Nicholas Caldwell, Walter “Scotty" Scott, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas, and Leaveil (La-Vel) Degree.