LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Jazz and soul musician Gordy Harmon, a founding member of the R&B group The Whispers, died Thursday in his sleep at his Los Angeles home, his family tells Eyewitness News.
Harmon was 79.
The Whispers were formed in the Los Angeles area in the early 1960s, but hit the peak of their fame in the 1980s with hits "And the Beat Goes On" and "Rock Steady," both hitting No. 1 on the R&B charts.
Harmon left the group after an injury to his larynx in 1973, group members recalled in a 2017 interview with the Los Angeles Sentinel about the founding of the band.
The group's founding members met each other in Watts where several members lived in the Jordan Downs housing project. Twins Wallace and Walter Scott joined up with Harmon, Marcus Hutson and Nicholas Caldwell to form the band.
The name came from the owner of a small record label in Hollywood, who suggested The Whispers as a reflection of their soft singing style.
While Harmon was with the group, they issued several albums that made the R&B charts, among them "The Whispers' Love Story" and "Life and Breath." Early singles included "The Time Will Come" in 1969 and "Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong" in 1970.
Harmon's family believes he died of natural causes, though he had no serious illnesses.