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Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes

Harold Melvin was one of the driving forces behind Philadelphia soul, leading his group the Blue Notes to the top of the charts during their stint on Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's Philadelphia International label. Despite Melvin's billing out front, the Blue Notes' focal point was lead singer and onetime drummer Teddy Pendergrass, whose surging baritone graced the Blue Notes' recordings during their glory years of 1972-1975 and gave them a truly distinctive sound. Their output ranged from sweeping, extended proto-disco dance tracks to silky, smoldering ballads, all wrapped up in Gamble and Huff's lushly orchestrated production. When Pendergrass left for a solo career, Melvin & the Blue Notes' commercial fortunes largely reverted to the pre-Pendergrass days (of which there were quite a few), although they did continue to record for a time. They never really disbanded, and by the time Melvin passed away in 1997, he'd been leading the Blue Notes for over four decades.

Melvin was born June 25, 1939, in Philadelphia. A self-taught pianist, he began singing doo wop as a teenager with a group called the Charlemagnes, and put together the very first edition of the Blue Notes in 1954. The original lineup was a quintet featuring Melvin as the lead singer (for a time), songwriter, arranger, and choreographer; ironically, he would mostly relinquish those duties by the time the group achieved its greatest success. The Blue Notes cut their first single, "If You Love Me," for Josie in 1956, and scored R&B chart hits in 1960 with "My Hero" and again in 1965 with "Get Out (And Let Me Cry)." Numerous personnel shifts kept the group in flux despite steady recording activity, and Melvin kept assembling new versions of the Blue Notes. During the late '60s, the group toured often with the Cadillacs, whose young drummer Teddy Pendergrass would prove to be Melvin's greatest discovery.

Pendergrass first joined the Blue Notes' backing band, but demonstrated so much vocal talent that Melvin soon elevated him to the post of lead singer. This move helped them land a deal with Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International label in 1972, just as the company was taking its place as soul music's new epicenter. With Gamble and Huff now supplying top-quality material and production, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes would become one of the most popular groups in R&B over the next few years. They ran off a string of hits and topped the R&B charts with the classic ballad "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (1972), the string-laden dance track "The Love I Lost" (1973), a duet with Melvin discovery Sharon Paige called "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon" (1975), and "Wake Up Everybody" (also 1975). By that time, tension was building within the group. The heavily spotlighted Pendergrass was hungry for separate billing, but Melvin, still the group's chief organizing force, turned him down. In 1976, Pendergrass left the Blue Notes for a solo career, which signaled the end of Melvin's relationship with Philadelphia International. Melvin soldiered on, helming several more albums of new material for several labels up through 1984, although his group only managed one more significant hit, 1977's "Reaching for the World." Melvin continued to tour with versions of the Blue Notes steadily into the '90s. Sadly, he suffered a stroke and never fully recovered; he passed away on March 24, 1997, in his beloved hometown of Philadelphia. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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Hope that we can be together soon
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Baby be for real I just love it
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chico1144
As long as we have memories, Yesterday remains;
As long as we have hope, Tomorrow waits;
As long as we have friendship, Today is beautiful.
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Yes, Ron it does have a deep message. There's a saying when a woman tell you to listen to a song, listen to the words, cause she trying to tell you something.
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This song has a lot of meaning behind it!!.Love this song
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Love these guys
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redyson3
This is nothing but good music
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A real love song !!
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LIKE ! ! !
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209ricm
Touch me
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Nobody could do it better
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I love you teddy and Harold Melvin &the blue notes.
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Don't make me call him Teddy!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! I want him back lol
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The luv I lost was a sweet luv, the luv I lost was complete luv
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Friday's.
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This is the s**t. I know y'all remember when owner parents got payed on fries n layer back n all u could here was this good stuff!!
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Blue notes with teddy was bad!!!!
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I saw them in 1975 @ circlestar theater San Carlos. With KC &sunshine band. Bella of a show!
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Wake up everybody no more in bed
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I just looked at this performance on soul train
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You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good....yes indeed..love this song!!!
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This song sound better as time go on
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I miss you
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209ricm
Ah ha f**k it
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mmmmmm....
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Jacksonsouth r n a i r
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Jacksonsoutt h e r n a i r
In
I need you toho
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On
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Harold Melvin. And the. Blue note
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Circle star theater San Carlos, can 1975.live
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shundamopar7 3
;-) FOR ALL LUVRZ
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I just love song be for real
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Bring back so many good memories
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This song is for u BIG DADDY..;D
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Life smell GOOD, stay positive, good things will happen. Dig that hmu, if you feel me, pray to your higher power. MERRY CHRISTMAS
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One of the best songs to get your grown thang going on! Mhmmmm! You know how to make me feel so good!
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I trust u I know we're YOU are. .just Believe in me My Love of my Life can have our Secrets be told. Please before it's too late. ...
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It's all about trust
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This is especially for you JANICE HERNANDEZ..
cuz you really do know how to make me feel good...
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Love this song ..;D
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Thank u uncle E for ur style of music back then
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sainkemp
I sang with the Sultans and this Group was our Hero's. I am 78 years young and No group could top the Blue Notes then and now. Steve Kemp
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it's all about trust
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Why so sad babe ,trust me have know other in my heart, but don't believe me.
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I ��this song....
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Another Timeless Classic!!! :-)
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old good music good sounds so serene
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Music my mother played back in the day.....:-) MEMORIES!!!. ( R . I . P MOM!!!!.)
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I love teddy and Harold Melvin & the blues
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Teddy and Sharon Page sound great together on this song. Mary
Show more

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