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Gordy Harmon, Founding Member of Iconic California R&B Group the Whispers, Dead at 79

Early promotional material for the Whispers featuring Gordy Harmon. 
The Whispers, and fans of the acclaimed California-bred R&B group, are in mourning following the death of one of its founding members.

Singer Gordy Harmon, who co-founded the quintet in Watts, California, with twin brothers Wallace and Walter Scott, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell in 1964, has died at the age of 79.

No cause was given for Harmon’s death, but his family confirmed the news to ABC 7. The media outlet reported that the musician died peacefully in his sleep at his Los Angeles home on Thursday (Jan. 5). 

The surviving Whispers shared their condolences on social media. 

“We are saddened by the passing of one of the founders and former member of the Whispers,” the group captioned a collage of photos during Gordy's time with it on its official Instagram page. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and his memory and his contributions will never be forgotten. Much love.”

Before leaving the band in 1973, after his larynx was damaged in a driving accident, Harmon helped lay the groundwork for the group's future success. 

He sang on early hits like 1969's "The Time Will Come," which peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard R&B chart, and “Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong” which became the group's first top 10 R&B entry in 1970.

Harmon was replaced by, Leaveil Degree, formerly of Friends of Distinction, and the Whispers went on to enjoy even greater success.

During the eighties and early nineties, the group scored multiple hits on the R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts, putting out five gold and two platinum-certified albums. 

In 1987, their signature hit "Rock Steady" peaked at No. 7 on the Hot 100, while taking the top spot on the R&B chart. 

The Whispers were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003, the Soul Music Hall of Fame in 2012 and the R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2014.

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