Norman Harris (musician)  

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Norman Ray Harris (October 14, 1947 – March 20, 1987) was an American guitarist, producer, arranger and songwriter, closely associated with Philly soul. He was a founding member of MFSB, the Philadelphia studio band, and one of the Baker-Harris-Young record production trio. He also produced several acts, including Loleatta Holloway, Eddie Holman, Double Exposure and Love Committee, for Salsoul Records, who distributed his subsidiary label, Gold Mind Records.


Harris was a leading arranger for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International Records label in its early years during the 1970s and played guitar on many recording sessions. He also played with Vince Montana's Salsoul Orchestra when several members of MFSB left after financial disagreements with Gamble-Huff in 1974. He later founded his own production company in the mid-1970s called The Harris Machine. In 1980, he released his only solo album, "The Harris Machine" on Philadelphia International.

Harris started teaching himself to play guitar in his teens and began his music career playing in local clubs, often with bassist Ronnie Baker and later drummer Earl Young, and in the house band at the old Uptown Theatre in Philadelphia. He then became a studio session player as the Philadelphia recording scene expanded, becoming an integral part of the rhythm section that featured on many of the city's best recordings. He later arranged and produced a host of soul and R&B acts during the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, including Blue Magic (with whom he had his biggest success, "Sideshow", a #1 R&B hit), First Choice, The Trammps, The Whispers, The Eddie Kendricks, First Choice, The Trammps, The Whispers, The Temptations, Four Tops, Joe Simon, Barbara Mason, The Dells, Curtis Mayfield and his cousin, former member of The Delfonics, Major Harris, whose brother was songwriter Joseph B. Jefferson.

He died of cardiovascular disease at the age of 39.

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