The Delfonics were a soul band in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, known for popularizing the “Philadelphia sound.” Their sleek and smooth style heard on the hits “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Below Your Mind This Time),” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love),” among others.
Last night’s “Unsung” chronicled The Delfonics’ rise to fame, and explained how their soulful sound even influenced The Jackson 5.
Watch the full episode below, and tune in to “Unsung” Wednesdays on TV One at 8pm EST!
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The Delfonics had producer and songwriter Thom Bell and founding lead vocalist William Hart—who owns the name continues to tour and record as the Delfonics—to thank for their smash singles. The two collaborated on some of the best baby-making records of all time. More recently, in 2013, Hart teamed up with retro-minded young-buck producer Adrian Younge for “Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics,” an album of new material.
The Philly soul greats first came together at Overbrook High School in the City of Brotherly Love. Before linking up with Thom Bell, who signed them to his Philly Groove label, the Delfonics featured William Hart and his brother Wilbert, as well as Randy Cain. They previously made their name singing doo wop at school dances, and in 1968, with Bell at the helm, they cut “La-La (Means I Love You),” a No. 4 hit on the U.S. pop charts. A string of hits followed, among them “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind,” which went Top 10 and showed up years later on the soundtrack to 1997’s Quentin Tarantino film “Jackie Brown.”
Who were the Delfonics? For scores of rappers, the Delfonics have been a great source for samples. Hip-hop acts like Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., Missy Elliott, and Nas have snaked beats and hooks from these Philly soul kings.
The soul-music brand still thriving, and even though the 2013 album is called “Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics,” William Hart is adamant about one thing: Younge isn’t the star. “It can deceive the public thinking this guy, Adrian Younge, is the Delfonics,” he told NewsObserver.com. “No, William Hart is the Delfonics, and that’s the reality. A Smokey Robinson album is a Smokey Robinson album regardless of who produced it.”
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