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Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass started singing gospel music in Philadelphia churches, becoming an ordained minister at ten years old. While attending public school, he sang in the citywide McIntyre Elementary School Choir and in the All-City Stetson Junior High School Choir. A self-taught drummer, Pendergrass had a teen pop vocal group when he was 15. By his late teens, Pendergrass was a drummer for local vocal group the Cadillacs.

In the late '60s, the Cadillacs merged with another more established group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. In 1970, when the Blue Notes broke up, Melvin, now aware of Pendergrass' vocal prowess, asked him to take the lead singer spot. It's no secret that Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff wanted Marvin Junior of the Dells for their Philadelphia International Records roster. Since the Dells were signed to Chess, they were unavailable. When the gruff'n'ready vocals of Pendergrass came their way, they eagerly signed the group. Beginning with "I Miss You," a steady stream of hit singles flowed from the collaboration of Pendergrass and Gamble & Huff: "If You Don't Know Me by Now," "The Love I Lost," "Bad Luck," "Wake Up Everybody" (number one R&B for two weeks in 1976), and two gold albums, To Be True and Wake Up Everybody.

Unfortunately, the more success the group had, the more friction developed between Melvin and Pendergrass. Despite the revised billing of the group, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes featuring Theodore Pendergrass, Pendergrass felt that he wasn't getting enough recognition. Around 1976, Pendergrass left Melvin's Blue Notes and formed his own Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pendergrass. Briefly, there was some confusion as to which Blue Notes were which. The resolution came when Pendergrass disbanded his Blue Notes in favor of a solo career and Melvin's group signed a recording contract with Source Records, distributed through ABC Records, scoring a hit with "I Want to Be Your Lover."

Pendergrass signed a new contract with Philadelphia International Records in late 1976/early 1977. He burst back on the scene with Teddy Pendergrass, a platinum solo debut that included the top-notch singles "I Don't Love You Anymore," "You Can't Hide from Yourself," and "The More I Get the More I Want." Around this time, Pendergrass began to institute his infamous "Ladies Only" concerts. His next three albums went gold or platinum: Life Is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Teddy (1979), and Teddy Live (Coast to Coast). The hit single "Close the Door" was used in the film Soup for One, where Pendergrass had a small role.

The singer received several Grammy nominations during 1977 and 1978, Billboard's 1977 Pop Album New Artist Award, an American Music Award for best R&B performer of 1978, and awards from Ebony magazine and the NAACP. He was also in consideration for the lead in the movie biopic The Otis Redding Story. The '70s ended, but Pendergrass kept racking up the hits. TP, his fifth solo album, went platinum in the summer of 1980 off the singles "Turn Off the Lights," "Come Go with Me," "Shout and Scream," "It's You I Love," and "Can't We Try." It's Time for Love gave Pendergrass another gold album in summer 1981, which included the hit singles "Love TKO" and "I Can't Live Without Your Love."

A 1982 car accident left Pendergrass paralyzed from the waist down and wheelchair-bound. After almost a year of physical therapy and counseling, Pendergrass returned to the recording scene, signing a contract with Elektra/Asylum in 1983. His ninth solo album and Elektra/Asylum debut, Love Language went gold the spring of 1984. Philadelphia International issued two albums of unreleased tracks, This One's for You (1982) and Heaven Only Knows (1983). Other albums included Workin' It Back (1985), Joy (1988, whose title track went to number one R&B for two weeks), and Little More Magic (1993). The latter half of the '90s found Pendergrass recording for the Surefire/Wind Up label. Truly Blessed, the name of an 1991 Elektra album, is also the title of the autobiography Pendergrass co-authored with Patricia Romanowski. Apart from an appearance at a 2007 ceremony held in his honor, Pendergrass spent his later years away from the spotlight. He had difficulty recovering from colon cancer surgery and passed away on January 13, 2010. ~ Ed Hogan
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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The
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I like it
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vmcfarland19 5 3
I love some Teddy P, can't wait for his movie with Tyrese playing Teddy P. Hurry up aready, yes.
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Pure musical genius
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Baby it don't hurt now, sing it teddy, sing it baby, I think I can make it baby without you, I think I understand you didn't mean me no good . Oh yes
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Teddy wes top five of all time. Trust and believe that. Just go listen to all those chart topping love jams. One love teddy.
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Mr Teddy P love all of his music there will never be another to take his place may he rest in peace
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Music was so great and Mr. Teddy was apart of it. And you have to appropriate comments about him and his times. Teddy was great ! ������������
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I love me some Teddy P!!!!
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Kspl dats kenny smooth playn live. On da 1 da whole town laughn @ me. Rip . tp
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Megan how was your day
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Last night gnnny love USA
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It don't hurt now baby, thank you God
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I Miss you from 1979 and I am blessed for having you as My Friend -Scott
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This is real R&B
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Mis U Teddy. Higher!!!!
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Ii love all of his music
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LOVE IT..!
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love this song from me toyou
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Towerofpower
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Definitely no one like you it took time you know when don't suppose marry, the wrong one even your soul speak cry out don't do it not right ,wait they coming wait do your heart jump when think about them with joy...than you know it the one..
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Turn Off The Lights...Ted d y knew what he was doing with this song
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Wake up wake up everybody love this.
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T.K.O. what you say bout that?
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oooooooooooo o o o o o I miss you miss you miss you
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One of the Greatest Song!!!!!!!! !
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kocodesigner
@hmanheimer5 7 - You are correct, it was Harold Melvin and the Blue notes but Teddy P. was the lead singer for this song and most of the groups songs until he went solo with his singing career.
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Love this song. I've sang this song to my children almost nightly for the first 5 years of their life.
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Awesome song
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My first love ROB bought this 45 rpm record for me when first started dating each other (You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration) ; can't help but smile when I heart this song!!
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Is this love making music Teddy be putting it down what cha say??
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miss you teddy
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Love you teddy.
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WAKE UP EVERYBODY... . s u c h a cruel hateful world....pra y i n g for better days!!!!!
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RIP Teddy, love All your music, such a romantic man, and that powerful voice, you just want to fall I'm love again each time you listen to his music. Love you TP oxox
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Ditto to all the good comments here! It was a better time them guys. I love Teddy and you all. You will notice that Teddy was a Gospel singer - Amen brothers and sisters (all colors)
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..........
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I feel like I have showed you as well as tell you...
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I miss you... what am I suppose to do???
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☆☆☆☆
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We can I know it
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2015
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Sexy man
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So many good sounds its extremely hard to choose from he is simply the best I will always miss him dearly but his memories will live on for decades to come r.i.p much love forever loveT.P.
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OMG what can u say about this guy that hasn't been said already. I love love love I miss you. My hubby passed 3 yrs ago this mo and I would love to cuddle to this track, but he hears me and Teddy anyway. Love u babe!
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dragonlady60 8 8
Olson is the best skl
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dragonlady60 8 8
tko
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dragonlady60 8 8
To...rip miss ur voice
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☆♡☆♡
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❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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