Founding member of the Blue Notes
Bernard Wilson, baritone vocalist and a member of the Philly soul act Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died Dec. 26 from undisclosed medical complications at Kresson View Center in Voorhees, NJ. He was 64.
Wilson was part of the classic Blue Notes lineup that also included Lawrence Brown, Lloyd Parks and lead singer Teddy Pendergrass.
The group, which was founded by Melvin in 1954, had recorded for such local labels as Posie, Instant Action, Val-ue and Landa before signing with producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records in 1972.
Fronted by Pendergrass, the group charted a string of lushly-produced single hits from 1972-77, including the No. 1 R&B entries “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “The Lvoe I Lost,” “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon,” and “Wake Up Everybody.”
Wilson exited the act in 1977, a year after Pendergrass’ departure. Pendergrass died in January.