William “Poogie” Hart Dies: Lead Singer Of Hit-Making ’70s Group The Delfonics Was 77
William Hart, the lead singer of the hit-making Philly Soul group the Delfonics, died Thursday at a Philadelphia hospital following complications from surgery. He was 77.
Hart, known to friends and fans as Poogie, was a founding member and chief songwriter of the group, and had one of the purest falsettos in the Philadelphia-based soul music of the late 1960s and ’70s. His aching, heartfelt tones were demonstrated on the group’s classic hits “La-La Means I Love You” (1968) and, perhaps most enduringly, the Grammy-winning “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” (released in 1969, a hit in 1970).
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Hart’s death was confirmed by his brother and co-founding bandmate Wilbert Hart, who wrote on Facebook, “R I P. My. Brother. William. Poogie. Delfonic. Hart”
See the group perform the “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time” below.
The Hart brothers co-founded the group (originally called The Orphonics) in Philadelphia in the mid-1960s, and were later joined by singers Major Harris and Randy Cain. A pioneering group in what would come to be known as Philly Soul, the Delfonics were among the artists worked with writer-producer Thom Bell to develop the the lush and string-heavy style of R&B that would dominate radio charts throughout the 1970s.
The group’s hits remain a staple of oldies stations even today, and in 1997 Quentin Tarantino featured both songs prominently in the film Jackie Brown. The group’s hits “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)” and “Funny Feeling” were used in the video game Grand Theft Auto V.
Although the group has remained together in various incarnations, Wilbert Hart is the last surviving original group member.
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