Jeffrey Osborne, The Whispers return platinum love of '60s

If you go back in time, you remember Jeffrey Osborne.

If you go way back, you remember The Whispers.

Both will be appearing in Oregon this month - July 23 at Spirit Mountain Casino.

You know Osborne, 62, as an R and B singer/drummer who launched a solo career in the 1980s that included five gold and platinum albums and a string of top-40 hits. You remember duets with James Ingram ('On the Wings of Love'), Dionne Warwick ('Love Power') and Joyce Kennedy ('Last Time I Made Love'), and perhaps his cover of Barbara Mason's classic, 'Yes, I'm Ready.'

If you're a sports fan, you may have heard his soulful rendition of the national anthem before Lakers games at Staples Center.

You know The Whispers - whose roots were planted in Watts in 1964 - as one of the most successful R and B groups of their generation, with nine gold and platinum albums in the '70s and '80s. Chart-dwelling singles included 'Rock Steady,' 'Emergency,' 'And the Beat Goes On' and 'It's a Love Thing.'

The blended vocals and dance steps remind of The Temptations and Four Tops. The driving soul sound was forerunner to the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and the Commodores.

The Whispers are in the Vocal Hall of Fame, and four of the five original members (Marcus Hutson died in 2000) remain - all in their 60s, and still rockin' steady.

8 p.m. Friday, July 23, Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde,, $15, $25, $35.

- Kerry Eggers

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