Remembrance: Major Harris 


click to enlarge Major Harris on the cover of his 1978 album, “How Do You Take Your Love.”
  • Major Harris on the cover of his 1978 album, “How Do You Take Your Love.”

A Richmond soul singer who made his mark in the 1970s as part of the Philadelphia Sound died Nov. 9. Major Harris, 65, was widely known for his hit single, "Love Won't Let Me Wait," which was released in 1975 and peaked at No. 5 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Harris also was a former member of the Delfonics, recording their hit song "La-La (Means I Love You)" and replacing their lead singer in 1971. He sang with the Jarmels, Lil Tommy and the Teenagers and Nat Turner Rebellion.

"Love Won't Let Me Wait," which briefly reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart, was covered by such artists as Johnny Mathis and Luther Vandross. Although Harris recorded several albums after that hit, he never returned to the top of the charts. A childhood friend says the singer didn't let that discourage him from sharing his vocal gifts.

"He wasn't worried about hits," says "Wild" Walter Smith, a DJ for WCLM-AM 1450. "He liked making people happy. He liked seeing people smile. All he wanted to do was sing and make people happy."

Harris released his last album of new material, "I Believe in Love," on the Streetwave label in 1994. He sang background vocals, along with other members of the Delfonics, on rapper Ghostface Killah's "Ironman" in 1996 and appeared with the Delfonics at a reunion concert in 2011. William Hart, a founding member of the Delfonics who convinced Harris to join the group, attended the funeral at March Funeral Home on Saturday in Richmond.

Smith says Harris, who was raised in Jackson Ward and attended Maggie Walker High School, returned to Richmond after suffering a mild stroke a few years ago. He died from congestive heart and lung failure, according to reports.

Smith says the singer never lost the connection to his hometown. "He loved Richmond. And he took Richmond everywhere he went," he says. "He was always real, never denied his roots and always tried to help somebody else. He'll be missed."


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

  • Re: Bon Air Residents Petition Against Goodwill

    • The virtue of Goodwill is not the issue; the issue is property rights. When you…

    • on April 25, 2017
  • Re: Sweet Buzz: Inside the Team Spirit and Creative Force that Powers the Rise of Sugar Shack Donuts

    • Ian, please don't franchise and sell out. Your name may suffer! No harm intended.

    • on April 25, 2017
  • Re: Proposed Tax Increases Draw Arts Groups, Musicians and Cigarette Vendors

    • Oh, the delicious irony of tax money parasites like Garka, Bender and Fisk whining against…

    • on April 25, 2017
  • More »
  • Latest in News and Features

    Copyright © 2017 Style Weekly
    Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
    All rights reserved
    Powered by Foundation