9/11/2021

Harry Coombs, Veteran Philadelphia International Records Executive, Dies at 85

dawnsears.com - Coombs helped launch the careers of The O’Jays, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls too more.

Harry Coombs


Veteran music industry executive Harry J. Coombs died on Sept. iii, Billboard has learned. Coombs, 85, passed away of pulmonary fibrosis/acuate pulmonary hypertension in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Coombs, born Sept. 19, 1935 in Washington, D.C., was best known for his xxx-yr tenure at Philadelphia International Records. He joined PIR -- and then distributed by CBS Records (like a shot Sony Music) -- equally a national advertisement manager inwards 1972. He earned his foremost golden record that year for The O’Jays hitting “Backstabbers.” Promoted to PIR’second executive vp internal operations in addition to advertisement inwards 1974, Coombs continued to play an integral office inward edifice the label’second iconic “Philly Sound” legacy as he oversaw projects released past hit-making acts such as The Stylistics, Teddy Pendergrass, Lou Rawls, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Billy Paul too Phyllis Hyman inward add-on to The O’Jays.

In a joint statement, PIR co-founders in addition to songwriting-production duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff said, “Harry started with our organisation from the start, and he was a tremendous property inward working amongst CBS on our behalf in sales and marketing efforts. Harry not alone was a wonderful team player but also a swell friend to us over the years. He really will live missed. We send our sincere prayers in addition to condolences to his dear married woman as well as family.”

Coombs was besides instrumental in the careers of R&B vocal group LeVert together with singer Gerald Levert. LeVert’second first of all album, I Get Hot, was released on Coombs’ Tempre label in 1985. “I’one thousand Still,” the album’s foremost single, drew the attending of Atlantic Records which later signed the grouping.

Coombs launched his music career at the legendary Waxie Maxie tape shop chain inward Washington, D.C. too afterwards worked at various music labels including CBS Records and Capitol Records prior to PIR, which he left in 2002.

An alumnus of the Modern School of Music inwards Washington, D.C. together with an Army veteran, Coombs was presented amongst the Living Legends Foundation Award inward 1999. After PIR, he relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2007. Coombs is survived past his wife Sandy Coombs, girl Ashley Coombs-Cox (Malik), stepson Edward Shields (Lisa), granddaughters Peyton, Cora too Sofia, in addition to siblings Francis Coombs in addition to Patricia Coombs-Coleman.

Funeral arrangements are pending.