Harris first appeared on record in 1953. He was the vocalist for South Central Los Angeles R&B band the Lamplighters. He remained with the band as it evolved through several name changes, from the Tenderfoots to the Sharps.
In 1957, Harris signed as a solo artist for Aladdin Records. His former band backed him when he released his version of Bobby Day’s “Little Bitty Pretty One”. It reached #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The track sold over one million records, achieving gold disc status. The Sharps would go on to another name change to become The Rivingtons, achieving fame with the single “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow”.
Unusually, “Little Bitty Pretty One” was released on three different-colored labels: purple, blue and maroon. The song appeared on the soundtracks to films or television dramas, such as Telling Lies in America, Matilda, Lipstick on Your Collar, and Christine.
Harris had a second and final hit in 1958 with “Do What You Did”, which reached the Top 20. His other best known song was “Runk Bunk”, recorded in 1959 (Aladdin 3452). Harris later recorded on Cub, Dot, Imperial, Intro, Reprise and United Artists.