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Major Harris
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'Philly sound' R&B singer Major Harris dies at 65

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Major Harris, a former member of the "Philadelphia sound" soul group the Delfonics and the singer of the 1975 hit "Love Won't Let Me Wait," has died in Richmond. He was 65.

His sister, Catherine Thomas, told The Associated Press that Harris passed away Friday morning from congestive heart and lung failure after being rushed to a hospital.

The Richmond native was born Feb. 9, 1947, and grew up in a musical family. His father was a guitarist and his mother led the church choir, Thomas said.

Bing: More about Major Harris

In his teens, Harris was tall for his age and was able to get into clubs to watch musicians perform, she said.

"He always appeared to be older, which gave him a lot of ins to a lot of older places," Thomas joked.

She said he didn't drink in the clubs back then but was pursuing his career. Music, she said, "was his life."

Harris made the rounds with several music groups in the 1960s, including the Charmers, Frankie Lymon's Teenagers and Nat Turner's Rebellion.

He then joined the Delfonics in the early 1970s, replacing Randy Cain in the group known for their hits "La-La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)."

Harris left the group in 1974 to pursue a solo career. He recorded a string of R&B singles, including "Love Won't Let Me Wait," which peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and was certified as a gold record by the Recording Industry Association of America. The song was covered by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams in 1994 and by Luther Vandross on his 1988 album "Any Love."

Harris last performed in 2011 at a reunion show with some of the members of the Delfonics, Thomas said.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Nov 11, 2012 5:57AM
The Delfonics were an amazing group, and Major Harris had the voice to front them. Godspeed Mr. Harris!
Nov 9, 2012 5:01PM
Major Harris was a smooth singer. He and other artists of his time were authentic in what they did. They sang real music with real feeling and not just for the money and fame as Oliffra stated.  Their music was clean, soulful and balanced with authentic love.  Another great from the past has moved on. May he rest in peace and God bless!
Nov 9, 2012 4:44PM
I grew up in the era when R&B singers could truly sing . They made real music that came from the heart not just for the money and the fame. Groups such as the Delfonics, The Ojays, Surface, Chilites and I can go on and on. I still listen to that music today, Thanks for the music and may you rest in peace
Nov 9, 2012 4:09PM
You were one of the smoothest singer on earth I know you will do the same in heaven. Make it beautiful.
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