You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Harold Melvin

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57.

Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of Teddy Pendergrass, a drummer he turned into his lead singer.

The group had several hits in the 1960s, but was better known for its ’70s output. Among those hits were “The Love I Lost,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “Wake Up Everybody.”

As exemplified by “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” the Blue Notes were backed by an orchestral sound but relied heavily on the strength of lead singer Pendergrass’ raw emotion. The group’s fortunes declined after Pendergrass left in 1975 for a solo career.

The Blue Notes remained popular overseas, however. Melvin was preparing for a tour in Japan when he suffered a stroke in July.

Family members told the Philadelphia Inquirer that Melvin spent his last weeks at home in bed enjoying tapes of his old hits and TV appearances.

More Scene

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    'Vida,' 'One Day at a Time' Showrunners Recount Being Called Racial Slur in Writers' Room

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • A Night in the Writers' Room

    Parity Takes Center Stage at Variety's 'A Night in the Writers' Room' Drama Panel

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

  • American Black Film Festival opening night

    Trevor Jackson Was Originally Told He Was 'Too Young' to Star in 'Superfly' Remake

    PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) — Harold Melvin, whose silky voice helped create the Philly doo-wop sound, died Monday of the long-term effects of a stroke he suffered last year, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Tuesday. He was 57. Although Melvin was the organizer and lead singer of the Blue Notes, his best-known accomplishment was discov-ering the talent of […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content