Major Harris, a former member of the “Philadelphia sound” group The Delfonics and singer of “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” passed away Friday morning in Richmond, Virginia. He was 65.
His sister, Catherine Thomas, told the Associated Press that he died from congestive heart and lung failure after being rushed to the hospital.
Major Harris was born February 9, 1947 in Richmond. He sang with various doo-wop and R&B groups in the 1960s including the Charmers, the Jamels, Frankie Lymon’s the Teenagers, and Nat Turner’s Rebellion.
Catherine Thomas said her brother was tall for his age “and was able to get into clubs to watch musicians perform. He always appeared to be older, which gave him a lot of ins to a lot of older places.”
In the early 1970s, Harris took over for Randy Cain as a member of the Delfonics. The group had recorded a number of hits — both parenthetically titled and otherwise —, including “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time,” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love).”
When the group split into two bands in 1974, Harris launched a solo career. He signed with Atlantic Records and also recorded a number of R&B hits. His best known was 1975′s “Love Won’t Me Wait,” which reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was also certified as a gold record by the RIAA.
Harris’s last performance was in 2011 at a reunion show with some of the members of the Delfonics, Thomas said.