Saturday, September 5, 2015

Delfonics singer Randy Cain dies at 63

Randy Cain, a founding member of the Delfonics, who sang on such Philly soul hits as "La La Means I Love You," and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" died Thursday. He was 63. No cause of death is yet known for Cain who formed the Delfonics with brothers William and Wilbert Hart while attending Overbrook High in the 1960s. Cain left the group in 1971 and was replaced by Major Harris.

Delfonics singer Randy Cain dies at 63

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Randy Cain, William Hart, Wilbert Hart
Randy Cain, William Hart, Wilbert Hart

Randy Cain, a founding member of the Delfonics, who sang on such Philly soul hits as "La La Means I Love You," and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" died Thursday. He was 63. No cause of death is yet known for Cain who formed the Delfonics with brothers William and Wilbert Hart while attending Overbrook High in the 1960s. Cain left the group in 1971 and was replaced by Major Harris.

In the 1980s Cain returned for a later incarnation of the group and also for the past several months Cain had been again performing with the Delfonics with William Hart, the group's lead singer and songwriter, who is the sole owner of the name of the group. That reunion is somewhat surprising as in 2002 and 2005 Cain and Wilbert Hart filed civil suits against William Hart and against Arista Records/Sony BMG, for back royalties. A court later awarded Cain and Wilbert back royalties.

The three original members were reunited in 2006 by the Rhythm & Blues Foundation which presented the group its Pioneer Award at its annual awards banquet. “That was the first time we were all together in years but we couldn’t work it out,” Wilbert Hart told us Friday night. “I’m gonna miss him. We grew up together since 1968,” Wilbert said of Cain whom he last saw four or five months ago. “We’re gonna have to do what we’re doing until God brings us together,” said Wilbert who now performs with a group as Wil Hart formerly Delfonics.

Cain had lived in Willingboro, NJ with Wilbert and his family but according to Wilbert recently moved into an apartment in Maple Shade. Wilbert said he hopes Cain will long be remembered through the Delfonics music. The group’s timeless tunes saw a resurrection in 1997 after several songs were featured in Quentin Tarantino's 1997 film "Jackie Brown."

“That three part harmony with the falsetto sound was phenomenal,” Jerry Blavat says of the Delfonics. Blavat was the first DJ to spin “La La Means I Love You,” and also had Cain and the Hart brothers performing on his TV show “Jerry’s Place,” which was broadcast on WFIL. “The entire rhythm and blues community has lost a beloved voice. We are all grieving,” said Patricia Wilson Aden, executive director of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation.

"Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and the Philadelphia International Records family deeply mourn the loss of this great artist and give their sincere condolences to the Cain and Delfonics family," said PIR executive Chuck Gamble.

"Gamble and Huff have fond memories of working with Randy and the group at the start of their career with fellow legendary producer Thom Bell who produced and penned many of the Delfonics hits," said Gamble who noted that the label had recently worked with Cain and the Delfonics on its PBS "Love Train" special.

This story has been updated from the original post.

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