Bernie Wilson Of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Dies At 64 | News

(Photo by Gilles Petard/Redferns)

Bernie Wilson, a baritone member of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, the rhythm and blues group that produced the 1972 hit “If You Don’t Know Me by Now,” has died aged 64.

Wilson passed early Sunday in a New Jersey nursing home following a stroke and a heart attack. Wilson’s death leaves Lloyd Parks as the sole surviving member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, which also featured the legendary Teddy Pendergrass and Lawrence Brown.

The group produced a string of R&B hits in the ’70s and helped define the Sound of Philadelphia. “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” topped the R&B charts and made the top five on the pop charts. The hits that followed included “I Miss You,” ”Bad Luck,” ”Wake up Everybody,” and the dance track “The Love I Lost,” which has been credited as one of the first disco records, according to an All Music Guide biography on the Billboard website.

“He left home at 16 as a pauper and came back home a millionaire,” [Wilson’s cousin] Peace-Mazzccua told The Associated Press. She said her cousin kept performing until a few years ago and hoped to return and sing gospel music. “Bernard was a very funny person. He should have been a comedian,” she said. “He didn’t take no stuff and he loved people.”

– AP (via Billboard)

R.I.P Bernie Wilson

“If You Don’t Know Me By Now”