RIP Bernie Wilson of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes
Wilson joined Melvin, Teddy Pendergrass, Lawrence Brown and Lloyd Parks in the world-renowned lineup that was signed to Philadelphia International Records in 1972, the beginning of a four-year string of hits for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes that were integral in defining the Sound of Philadelphia. They became one of the most popular groups in R&B during that era, with recordings that ranged from sweeping, extended proto-disco dance tracks to silky, smoldering ballads, all wrapped up in the lushly orchestrated production that had become the legendary signature of Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff. The group made their chart debut with "I Miss You," then continued with a Grammy nomination for their first #1 R&B hit, "If You Don't Know Me By Now." More #1 hits followed, with "The Love I Lost," and "Wake Up Everybody." Other Blues Notes classics during that time include "Bad Luck" (#4 R&B; #1 Dance) and "Don't Leave Me This Way."
The passing of Wilson leaves Lloyd Parks as the sole surviving member of the classic lineup of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.