Bernard Wilson of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes dies at 64

Bernard Wilson, a member of R&B vocal group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, died Dec. 26 in New Jersey, Variety reports. A specific cause of death has not been disclosed.

Wilson was the group’s baritone singer until 1977. During those years, the Blue Notes became one of the biggest Philly Soul acts, well known for their immaculate harmonies. Wilson helped back late lead singer Teddy Pendergrass on many classic hits from this era, including “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (listen after the jump) and “Wake Up Everybody.”

Please join the Music Mix in sending our kind thoughts to Wilson’s family and friends.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Haters

    It’s been a sad 24 hours in the R&B world. First Teena Marie’s shocking death now this.

    Well they say death comes in 3’s, who’s next? RIP.

  • kc

    Bernard Williams was a founding member of the group. Bernie Wilson joined in the early 1970s and was part of the “classic” Blue Notes that helped create the Philly sound.

    • Dee

      I met Bernie Wilson in 1962 who at that time had his own little group along with Lawrence Brown called the “Cordsteppers”. They played at local and Jersey shore clubs. We hung out at the VPA Club on North Broad Street, two doors down from the Uptown Theater. The original Blue Notes had already broken up. Harold Melvin approached Bernie in the mid 60’s to combine Bernies group with him and they would be billed as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. They recorded several songs but it wasn’t until they signed with Philadelphia International Records that their career took off. He was such a good friend and an excellent boyfriend. He’ll always be in my heart.

  • Muhammad S.

    My sadness is paled by the passing of one of the world’s best known baritone singers of our time.Mr.Williams will surely be missed,as we need to have crooner’s stay with us. Over the years, there has been so much loss.
    Our sincerest condolences from The Shakur Family.

  • Darnell bennett

    May she rip now she’s home with her God we Love you always live in us

  • Barack Palin

    This is aad. But at least his family will not have to pay inheritance taxes.

  • karen

    So very sorry loss. I met Bernard & the group when I was at Miami A they were playing at the Newport. He picked me out of the audience. He liked me. He was very nice, sweet & fun-loving. Called my Mother in Phila. to chat. It was a funtime. He was well-loved & very talented. Rest, dear Bernard.

  • Keisha Shell

    It’s so sad to lose a great, but how blessed we are to have know him. I speak as a 34 year-old that grew up listening to the Blue Notes music in our home what great music they provided. God bless you Bernard Wilson your in that heavenly choir now. :-)

  • akri

    another one gone so young..never heard of them but sad condolences to his family.

  • JC

    I sang with Bernie for about 4 years and he was real kind, considerate of others. A great dancer and showman. Very hospitable. Just meant well. I was blessed to perform with Harold, Teddy, Bernie and Larry

  • hank s.

    I practally grew up w bernie,Chord steppers pre notes.and still played when
    ever he and larry brown,john atkins..etc
    when they cameto boston…Wow hard to believe the notes that are gone..Bless the family and friends.i have so much to say but at later time,the notes history is endless…please get it right..and bless you lloyed P

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