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The lead vocalist of the Grammy-winning R&B group The Delfonics, William “Poogie” Hart, passed away at 77 years of age.
According to his son Hadi, William was recently transferred to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia due to respiratory problems. There, on July 14, 2022, he passed suddenly due to complications from surgery.
The Philadelphia-based band was founded by William and his brother Wilbert in the late 1960s with Randy Cain, Ritchie Daniels, plus Thom Bell. The group would have a big influence on how The Soul of Philadelphia (TSOP), or the Philadelphia sound, developed.
The songs include classics like “La-La (Means I Love You),” “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” “Break Your Promise,” “I’m Sorry,” and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love),” were all solely written by William Hart and Thom Bell.
For “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time),” The Delfonics received a Grammy Award in 1971 for Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group, Vocal Or Instrumental.
The film Jackie Brown, a movie directed by Quentin Tarantino, also included the songs “Didn’t I” and “La-La.” The Family Man, starring Nicolas Cage, and Crooklyn, directed by Spike Lee, were other films whose soundtracks contained songs by The Delfonics, which became widely known.
The songs by The Delfonics titled, “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)” and “Funny Feeling” were both broadcast on the fictitious radio station The Lowdown 91.1 in the video game “Grand Theft Auto V.”
After recording twelve top-20 singles on Billboard’s R&B and Soul Single Chart, the founding band broke up in 1975. Splitter groups formed by former members carried on performing throughout the 1990s and 2000s.