The Delfonics: selected hit recordings, 1968-1971

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The DelfonicsThe Delfonics

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The Delfonics — selected hit recordings, 1968-1971

  • 1968 La-La Means I Love You
  • 1969 Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
  • 1970When You Get Right Down to It
  • 1971 Hey! Love

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Delfonics-early-1aThom Bell, early

Delfonics-early-2Delfonics-early-2a

1968-Delonics-La La-album-1-t75--px1,21968-Delfonics-La La-LP- back-1-hl50

La-La Means I Love You — words and music: William Hart and Thom Bell

The Delfonics — issued in January 1968 on Philly Groove 150, b/w Can’t Get Over Losing You (Bell, Hart); chart success: #4 US pop,#2 R&B in 1968. The same two titles had previously been released as Philly Groove NS-1001 / NS-1002, in December 1967, with William Hart credited on each side as the lone songwriter, and Thom Bell credited only as arranger on each side. I don’t know if the credit changes on the January 1968 issue indicate modified music and/or lyrics, omissions on the earlier label, or a business decision.

“La-La Means I Love You” is also the title track of the debut LP by the Delfonics, released in May 1968. The album version is slightly longer (14 seconds) than the hit single. In the UK, the single was originally released, with the same flip side, on the Bell label as BLL 1005 in March 1968, then reissued as BLL 1165 in June 1971 (#19 UK pop hit, 1971).

lip-sync performance, 1968 — The Delfonics: William Hart (center, lead), Wilbert Hart (right), Randy Cain (left)

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live studio performance with orchestra, c. 1973  — William Hart (lead), Major Harris, Wilbert Hart — Harris replaced Randy Cain in 1971

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Delfonics Super Hits, 1969Delfonics from Sound of Sexy Soul, 1969

1970-Delfonics: The Delfonics, 1970 LPDelfonics-4

Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) (Thom Bell, William Hart)

The Delfonics — Philly Groove single #161, b/w Down Is Up, Up Is Down (Bell, Hart), released December 1969 (according to 45cat.com, though other discography sites date it 1970). Arranged and conducted by Thom Bell, produced by Stan Watson and Thom Bell. Chart success: US #10 pop single, and #3 R&B in 1970; #22 UK pop single in 1971. The recording also became the initial track on side one of the group’s self-titled third album, released in July 1970.

Wilbert Hart: first lead, William Hart: second lead

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Delfonics perform Didn't I Blow Your Mind on Soul Train, 1971 (1)

The Delfonics — Soul Train: Season 1, Episode 11, airdate 11 December 1971 — left to right: Major Harris, William Hart, Wilbert Hart

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(below) live c. 1973, with small combo, no orchestra

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 When You Get Right Down to It (Barry Mann)

The Delfonics — Philly Groove label single PG 163, issued in August 1970, featuring a Thom Bell arrangement, b/w I Gave To You (William Hart)

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Hey! Love (Wilbert Hart)*

The DelfonicsPhilly Groove 166, b/w Over and Over, issued in May 1971. Hey! Love was produced by Stan Watson and Staff with an arrangement by Caldwell McMillan. It became the fifth consecutive top 40 R&B single for the Delfonics, reaching #17, and their tenth R&B hit since 1968. Author of the song, Wilbert Hart, is one of the founding members of the Delfonics, and brother of the principle songwriter and first lead singer, William Hart. By about 1975, the Delfonics had split up into two or more groups.**

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* Though 45cat.com displays a label crediting only “Wilber Hart” (name misspelled) as the writer of “Hey! Love,” some sites credit Wilbert Hart and Karl Chambers. Discogs.com displays a few labels with only “Wilber Hart” (misspelled) credited (1) (2), and at least one label with “Wilbert Hart-Karl Chambers” credited.

** On the splitting of the Delfonics, Wikipedia says:

The group split around 1975; one group featured Major and Wilbert, with new member Frank Washington, formerly of the Futures. (Major Harris also had major success with the solo recording “Love Won’t Let Me Wait”). The other group featured William with new members. Lineups would become confusing as members shifted between groups and multiple groups toured. Major Harris moved to William’s group around 1980, with their third member being the returning Randy Cain. Frank Washington also switched from Wilbert’s group, joining in 1985.

While the main recording lineup of the group was William Hart, Major Harris, and Frank Washington, they would tour as two separate trios with additional members added. One group featured William, Randy Cain, and Garfield Fleming, and the other consisted of Frank, Major, and Freddy Ingleton. William also toured with another line up consisting of himself, Johnny (“JJ”) Johnson and Pat Palmer,[3] and toured in Japan at least one time with Ingleton and Dr. Salaam Love.[4] [read more…1980s and on]

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