Philadelphia International Records Announces Passing of ‘Blue Notes” Bernie Wilson

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Bernie Wilson, an essential member of ‘Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ Bernie Wilson, an essential member of 'Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups in the 1970's, died early Sunday from undisclosed medical complications at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ,"and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups in the 1970’s, died early S

Bernie Wilson, an essential member of ‘Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ Bernie Wilson, an essential member of 'Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes' and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups in the 1970's, died early Sunday from undisclosed medical complications at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ,"and one of the most popular Philadelphia soul groups in the 1970’s, died early Sunday from undisclosed medical complications at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ,” Philadelphia International Records has announced. Wilson was 64.

Known for their R&B and doo-wop hits such as “If You Don’t Know Me By Know,” the ‘Blue Notes’ has earned a special place in Philadelphia music history. Wilson was born July 12, 1946 in Philadelphia. He was signed to Philadelphia International Records.

Wilson was the baritone vocalist in the classic lineup of the ‘Blue Notes.’ Wilson joined Melvin, Teddy Pendergrass, Lawrence Brown and Lloyd Parks in the world-renowned lineup that was signed to Philadelphia International Records in 1972, the beginning of a four-year string of hits for the group that was integral in defining the sound of Philadelphia.

They became one of the most popular groups in R&B during that era, with recordings that ranged from sweeping, extended proto-disco dance tracks to silky, smoldering ballads, all wrapped up in the lushly orchestrated production that had become the legendary signature of Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff. The group made their chart debut with “I Miss You,” then continued with a Grammy nomination for their first #1 R&B hit, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” More #1 hits followed, with “The Love I Lost,” and “Wake Up Everybody.” Other Blues Notes classics during that time include “Bad Luck” (#4 R&B; #1 Dance) and “Don’t Leave Me This Way.”

The passing of Wilson leaves Lloyd Parks as the sole surviving member of the classic lineup of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

Philadelphia International Records and Philly2Philly.com sends condolences to the Wilson family.

Funeral arrangements are expected to be finalized on Wednesday.

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