“The time is right, turned down the lights/and take my hand, we will take a flight/and spend the night/in a wonderland.” For those of you who came of age in the mid-70s, this lyric should be familiar, particularly when it was crooned by Major Harris. The song was “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” and it made Harris a bedroom, ah, household name, and lovers will always remember his mellow voice in the night.
Harris, 65, died last Friday in Richmond, Va., of congestive heart and lung failure after being rushed to the hospital, according to his sister Catherine Thomas.
Though he paid his dues with a number of singing groups, it was not until his stint with the Delfonics, replacing Randy Cain. The group, as part of the Philly Sound, had already established itself with such hits as “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).”
“Music was his whole life,” said Thomas, which was natural for a child growing up in a musical family in Richmond. His father was a guitarist and his mother led a church choir.
He wasn’t with the Delfonics very long before embarking on a solo career, earning a gold record with “Love Won’t Let Me Wait,” and there are several versions of him singing it on YouTube, including one when he appeared on “Soul Train.” A more recent rendition occurred during the “Oldies But Goodies” tour, where he reunited with the Delfonics.
Any way you can get Harris is a pleasure, and his soothing voice never lost its soulful expressiveness straight from “wonderland.”