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Whatever happened to......... The Delfonics

Although they helped to develop The Sound of Philadelphia, this is not the group that comes to mind when you think of that sound. This month we take a look at "What Ever Happened To The Delfonics". Originally from Philadelphia, The Delfonics started singing together in high school, where they called themselves The 4 Gents. The group was comprised of William Hart, Wilbert Hart, Randy Cain & Ritchie Daniels.

Although popular in the Philadelphia area, the group didn't achieve nationwide success until they made two changes. First, they hired Thom Bell to become their producer, and second they added Major Harris as a primary vocalist. Under the production arm of Thom Bell, the group developed a smooth, harmonious, romantic sound....that became known as the Philly Sound.

The Delfonic's hits ranged from 1968's number 1 single "LaLaLa Means I Love You", to top 40 soul hits "Ready Or Not Here I Come" , "Break Your Promise" and "Trying To Make a Fool Out of Me". Perhaps the song that best showed off William Hart & Major Harris' singing as well as Thom Bell's producing was the 1970 song "Didn't I Blow Your Mind".

From 1968 to 1970, you couldn't go to a party, a nightclub, or listen to the radio without hearing the smooth grooves of the Delfonics. In 1970 their greatest hits albums was one of the most popular 8 track tapes around, probably because it made such good "make out" music. In 1971 after an argument with the Delfonics manager, Thom Bell stopped producing the Delfonics and started producing the Stylistics. It's interesting that the Delfonics never had another hit, while Bell produced hits for the Stylistics for almost another 10 years. As for the individual members, Major Harris left the group to pursue a solo career, he only had one hit as a solo artist "Love won't Let Me Wait", although he recorded 6 albums. The members continued recording together until 1974 when they all retired.

In 1990, The Hart Brothers ended their retirement & started doing oldies shows. Although they still sound good, William Hart's falsetto leads have NOT remained as clear and unchanged as,say Russell Thompkins Jr. of the Stylistics. Still they remain one of the great slow jam groups of all time.

And That's Whatever Happened To.....The Delfonics.


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Clifford Brown, Jr. may be reached on line at Jazzycb@aol.com