Musical palate cleanser, mellow edition

Sigh.

William Hart, who as the lead singer and chief lyricist of the soul trio the Delfonics helped pioneer the romantic lyrics, falsetto vocals and velvety string arrangements that defined the Philadelphia sound of the 1960s and ’70s, died on July 14 in Philadelphia. He was 77.

His son Hadi said the death, at Temple University Hospital, was caused by complications during surgery.

The Delfonics combined the harmonies of doo-wop, the sweep of orchestral pop and the crispness of funk to churn out a string of hits, 20 of which reached the Billboard Hot 100. (Two made the Top 10.)

Almost all of them were written by Mr. Hart in conjunction with the producer Thom Bell, including “La-La (Means I Love You),” “I’m Sorry” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love),” all released in 1968, and, a year later, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” which won a Grammy for best R&B vocal by a duo or group.

“La-La (Means I Love You)” is pretty much close to perfection.  There isn’t a single note out of place.  And those vocals!  (Just try not to sing along.  It’s impossible to resist.)

Philly soul, for the win.  Rest in peace, brother.

15 Comments

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15 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, mellow edition

  1. RangerRuss

    “They’re pretty good.”

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Hogbody Spradlin

    He and Little Anthony are pretty similar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Harold Miller

    Musical, but not related. 45 years ago today “My Aim is True” was released.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. muttleyagain

    Surprisingly, I didn’t discover this one on oldies radio. I first heard it- a bit of it- on my brother’s Todd Rundgren live album, as part of a medley. When I was in high school I was collecting old stuff, discovering soul and R&B here and there, when I picked up some re-issue single- can’t remember what- by some other artist with this as a mismatched other side. What a nice way to really discover it.

    So many great records from that golden age are fading from the great collective memory, but this one’s place is assured. It spins on the rock of eternity. Hard to heard it now without communing with Pam Grier and Robert Forster.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      There it is Muttley. I have to thank Tarantino for turning me on to the Delphinics. He’s made a nice career reviving the career of others.

      Liked by 3 people

      • muttleyagain

        I just re-watched “Jackie Brown” about a month or two ago, for the first time since…’97? But the Delphonics (and Bridget Fonda) were always fresh in my mind.

        Like

  5. Salty Dawg

    A lot of babies were conceived to that music!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I have a friend who can sing this great song backed by just his acoustic guitar.

    Nice voice, William!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. R.I.P. Mr. Hart…Salty is dead nuts on above…the Delfonics soul music was smoother than silk and I bet the ladies loved it.

    This reminded me and my main man Shaft of the Four Tops too

    Liked by 2 people

    • muttleyagain

      That is a killer track for sure. The drums are other-worldly. Major all-time favorite of mine. I wanted it sent to the team in 2002.

      ^ This sounds like a much later re-make (is that even Levi?) but is very faithful.

      Like

  8. I’m guessing we may never see a MPC with modern country, metal, or ‘90s rock. 😜

    Liked by 2 people

  9. TripleB

    Nice, these posts always send me to Spotify to here more. Thanks.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. RangerRuss

    I was going to make a snide remark about Bridget’s present weight but then I figured who the hell am I to talk. You never know why someone gained an extra person. I had coffee with a mentor about 25 years ago.
    “Damn sir, you’re out of shape.”
    “Fuck you, Russ. Round is a shape.”

    Like