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Little Whisper and The Rumors
Little Whisper & the Rumors, Fort Worth, Texas, spring 1975.
L-R: A.L. “Tudi” Taddi, Stephen Bruton, Jim Colegrove, Glen Clark
Photo by Vince Foster

Little Whisper & The Rumors: Texas Roots

Little Whisper & The Rumors began in Fort Worth, Texas, November 1974. Over the next two years they performed in Texas and New Mexico, recorded an, as yet, unissued album of music for Atlantic Records (produced by Tom Dowd) and a number of live performance recordings.

Stephen Bruton and Jim Colegrove met in Woodstock, New York in 1971 and together vowed to someday form a band. The two met up again in Fort Worth, 1974. The first performance by the group was a last-minute assembly to fulfill a booking that Stephen and Jim had previously made for another group. The members at that first performance were as follows: Stephen Bruton, guitar and vocals; Jim Colegrove, bass and vocals; Joe Hutchinson, piano, guitar, vocals and Darrell Norris, drums.

The line-up soon became a musical chairs rotation depending on who was available at the time. Other players included Michael J. Dohoney, drums and David Ferguson, fiddle. By 1975 the group settled into its most popular and identifiable line-up with the addition of Glen Clark on piano and vocals. Arthur Leslie “Tudi” Taddi became the drummer and added his vocals to the band as well.

These musicians were, with the exceptions of Colegrove and Taddi, Fort Worth native musicians who had played together in some capacity for many years creating a unique blend of R&B, rock and country. Glen Clark was the former partner to Delbert McClinton. The duo recorded two albums as Delbert and Glen for Clean Records earlier in the 1970s. David Ferguson had performed with the bluegrass group, Country Gazette and had an album of his own on the new Ridgerunner label. Tudi Taddi was a well-known musician in Texas (originally from San Antonio) and a former member of The Cellar Dwellers, a group that was popular at the legendary Cellar clubs in Texas in the 1960s. The group also was known to feature such guitarists as Raleigh “Rollo” Smith (Naughty Sweeties) and Tommy Spurlock (Highway 101).

In 1976, Earl McGrath, who had arranged the deal for Delbert and Glen with Clean Records, made a deal for Little Whisper and The Rumors with Atlantic Records. Tom Dowd was set to produce the record. The band went to Los Angeles to record in November, 1976.

Early in 1977, anticipating the release of the record, the group decided to expand and added former Mothers of Invention drummer Billy Mundi. This would free Tudi to play guitar and harmonica since he’d added these instruments on the recording. The group performed this way only a short time. By the spring it was evident that Atlantic had no interest in releasing the record and the group decided to go their separate ways.

Stephen Bruton and Glen Clark went to Los Angeles. They worked together in Kris Krisoffersen’s band and then with Bonnie Raitt. They still managed to get together from time-to-time and perform as Little Whisper and the Rumors with various musicians filling their line-up. Glen Clark released a CD in 1994 on DOS Records titled Looking For A Connection. He became the leader of Jim Belushi’s band The Sacred Hearts. Stephen Bruton toured with his own band and started his solo recording career. Jim Colegrove formed The Juke Jumpers with Stephen’s brother, Sumter Bruton. Arthur “Tudi” Taddi died unexpectedly in Fort Worth, September 1999. Stephen Bruton died May 9, 2009. Jim recorded and performed with his band Lost Country from 2001 until 2011. He released an instrumental CD in 2013. He is now in collaboration with Roscoe West in a new project to be completed by fall 2015.

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