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The Delfonics

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The Delfonics were one of the first groups to sing in the sleek, soulful style that became popularized (thanks to producer Thom Bell) as the "Philadelphia sound." A vocal trio made up of brothers William and Wilbert Hart and high school friend Randy Cain, the Delfonics roots go back to doo wop singing at school dances in the early '60s. They were well-known in the Philly area for their supple, airtight harmonic talent, which brought them to the attention of record producers, eventually landing them a contract with Cameo-Parkway. While their early records brought them little if any notice, it did bring them to the attention of producer/arranger Thom Bell, who signed the band to his soon-to-be influential soul label Philly Groove. Right from the start this was a perfect match as the band released the classic "La La Means I Love You" in 1968, a song that began a string of hits lasting into the mid-'70s. The sound that Bell created for the Delfonics was the antithesis of the soul sound that came from Stax in Memphis and Muscle Shoals in Alabama. He sandpapered away the grit, lightened up on the backbeat, brought in string sections, and created a smooth, airy sound. Critics enamored of the soul singing of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding accused Bell and his groups of creating aural wallpaper, but the reality was that Bell and the Delfonics were setting the stage for a different kind of groove where subtlety and nuance reigned. The hits slowed for the Delfonics in the mid-'70s, and in 1971 Randy Cain quit the band and was replaced by Major Harris. A few more minor hits followed but Harris left the band for a solo career in 1975, effectively finishing the Delfonics. Multiple versions of the group toured, and one even released an album, Return, in 1981. In the late '90s, the William Hart, Major Harris, and Frank Washington (of the Futures) version of the Delfonics appeared on Ghostface Killah's "After the Smoke Has Cleared." (The group had long been a frequent source of sampled material for hip-hop artists.) The band also played a significant musical role in Quentin Tarantino's film Jackie Brown. Tarantino, a '70s pop culture obsessive, used "La La Means I Love You" and their best single, "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," as a way of underscoring the relationship between actors Pam Grier and Robert Forster. In the film, Forster's character is so struck by the music (and Grier's character), he goes out and buys a Delfonics' Greatest Hits cassette the following day. Near the end of the decade, the William Hart-led version of the group released Forever New on the revived Volt label. Multiple forms of the group continued to exist through the 2000s. Composer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Adrian Younge -- notable for his soundtrack to the 2009 blaxploitation comedy Black Dynamite, as well as Venice Dawn's Something About April -- sought William Hart to record an album-length project in which the singer was front and center. Hart obliged, and Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics was released on Wax Poetics in 2013. ~ John Dougan
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Albums by
The Delfonics

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    14 songs

    On Air

    Tell Me This Is a Dream (Expanded Version)

    1 song

    On Air

    How Long Will You Stay

    1 song

    On Air

    Somewhere in My Life

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Best of Oldies Soul: The Delfonics Live!

    11 songs

    On Air

    Philly Groove Records Presents: This Time

    10 songs

    On Air

    Soul Legends: The Delfonics

    13 songs

    On Air

    Adrian Younge Presents the Delfonics

    17 songs

    On Air

    The Best of the Delfonics: 17 Great Live Performances

    28 songs

    On Air

    Philly Soul: Blue Magic, The Delfonics, Harold Melvin's Blue Notes

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Legend of The Delfonics

    15 songs

    On Air

    Delfonics Live On Tour

    11 songs

    On Air

    La La Means I Love You

    10 songs

    On Air

    The Delfonics

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Sound of Sexy Soul

    11 songs

    On Air

    Forever New

    40 songs

    On Air

    The Essential Delfonics

    8 songs

    On Air

    Philly Groove Records Presents: The Way Things Were

    8 songs

    On Air

    Hey There Lonely Girl

    4 songs

    On Air

    La-La (Means I Love You) & Other Favorites

    14 songs

    On Air

    La La Means I Love You [Excalibur]

    10 songs

    On Air

    Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time [Red Bus]

    14 songs

    On Air

    Legends

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Urban Soul Series

    14 songs

    On Air

    The Delfonics Today: All Platinum

See All Albums

Top Songs by
The Delfonics

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   La-La Means I Love You
  3.   Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)
  4.   Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide from Love)
  5.   Hey Love
  6.   Tell Me This Is a Dream
  7.   Break Your Promise
  8.   Funny Feeling
  9.   Somebody Loves You
  10.   Love You Till I Die
  11.   I'm Sorry
  12.   When You Get Right Down to It
  13.   Over and Over
  14.   You're Gone
  15.   Trying to Make a Fool of Me
  16.   Hurt So Bad
  17.   Think It Over
  18.   A Lover's Concerto
  19.   Delfonics Theme
  20.   Lying to Myself
  21.   You Got Yours and I'll Get Mine
  22.   Means I Love You
  23.   Hot Dog (I Love You So)
  24.   I Told You So
  25.   Hey There Lonely Girl
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
The Delfonics

    On Air

    Classic Soul

    On Air

    Smooth Jams

    On Air

    Grand Theft Radio

    On Air

    The Greatest Years in Music

    On Air

    Vintage Love Songs

    On Air

    '60s Hits

    On Air

    Adult Chill

    On Air

    Coffee House

    On Air

    Oldies

    On Air

    '70s Hits

    On Air

    '60s Deep Dive

    On Air

    '70s Deep Dive


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