Major Harris Dead, Delfonics Singer Dies at 65
Major Harris, former member of the '60's R&B group the Delfonics, passed away Nov. 9 at the age of 65, in his hometown of Richmond, Va. His sister, Catherine Thomas, told the Associated Press (via Philly.com) that the singer died from congestive heart and lung failure.
Mr. Harris was born Feb. 9, 1947, and grew up in a musical family. His father was a guitarist and his mother led the church choir. His brother, Joe Jefferson, was a songwriter who penned chart-topping hits for the Spinners ('One of a Kind Love Affair') and other artists.
The crooner honed his singing skills while performing with several vocal acts in the 1960s, including Frankie Lymon's the Teenagers, the Charmers and Nat Turner's Rebellion. He joined the Delfonics in 1971, after member Randy Cain left the group; they are credited with ushering in the so-called "Philadelphia sound."
However, Harris saw more success as a solo artist when he left the Delfonics in 1974. The following year, he released the classic ballad 'Love Won't Let Me Wait,' which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song has been covered by Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams in 1984, and again by the late Luther Vandross on his 1988 album 'Any Love.'
Harris' 'Love Won't Let Me Wait' has also been sampled by a number of rappers including California rap trio Pac Div on 'Take Me High.' Other Harris songs like 'You're So Good You're Bad' (from his 1978 album 'How Do You Take Your Love') was sampled on the song 'Bare Witness' by indie rapper Skyzoo.
His sister said his last performance was in 2011, in which he was joined by several other members of the Delfonics.
Watch Major Harris Perform 'Love Won’t Let Me Wait' on 'Soul Train' in 1975