johnny britt & whispers

Nicholas ‘Nick’ Caldwell, Johnny Britt, Walter Scott and Leaveil Degree

*Obviously the death of Nick Caldwell of The Whispers knocked a lot of people for a loop including musician Johnny Britt who was a good friend of Caldwell.

Britt wrote a song for the group which brought Caldwell (who wrote a lot of The Whispers’ hits) to the singer/trumpeter’s house to check it out. Britt says they became friends and he and his group Impromp2 opened for The Whispers.

Upon learning of Caldwell’s death, Britt notified EUR’s Lee Bailey to let him know of a special version of their hit song, “just Gets Better With Time” that he arranged and performed as a tribute to the group. (Scroll down to listen to it.)

Britt says he wrote the song and performed it for the group and Nick at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles about 3 years ago. It was a tribute for The Whispers and actor Obba Babatunde.

“I was inspired to produce the song then,” says Britt. “Nick came up to me to tell me how much he really liked it.”

Meanwhile, here’s the rest of Lee and Johnny’s conversation:

Lee Bailey: When/how did you hear of Nick’s death?

Johnny Britt: Man I just got an email and I was shocked

Lee: What inspired the somber approach as opposed to the more mid-tempo version of the group’s “Just Gets Better With Time?”

Johnny: Well just like Marvin Gaye I always prefer ballads. At heart I am a balladeer. I feel as an artist the hardest thing is to perform and express true emotion in the form of a ballad. It was an obvious approach for me.

Lee: How do you see Nick’s death in the big picture of losing so many R&B heavyweights and pioneers?

Johnny: Well growing up and being inspired by these great legends was really the school that formed me into becoming the artist that I am today. Of course I love having my degree in music but these great artist were the true music school for me.

Lee: Any other thoughts?

Johnny: Having had the tremendous opportunity to work, perform and record with the likes of The Temptations, Little Anthony and The Imperials, The O’Jays etc. I feel that it is my responsibility to keep the tradition of the music that these and other great R&B artist laid down for us to uphold its quality and standards.

For more information on Johnny Britt, visit his website: www.JohnnyBritt.com.