Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tonight a musical angel that had the chance to grace this Earth and bless us with his melodic talent has been called home to the heavens. Teddy Pendergrass died today and it has hit me in such a way that I had to dedicate a post in honor of him immediately after I got the news. He was truly one of a kind and there will NEVER BE another TP. This really saddens me because he was just recently hospitalized for medical complications and I had also just begun my research on his life and music a couple months ago. So this post is in honor of him and his life.

Teddy Pendergrass was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on March 26, 1950. Ever since he was young, he had a desire for music and wanting to sing. He began to sing in church and was also chosen to be a part of the All-City Elementary School Boys Choir at the age of 6. As a he began to build up his reputation as a drummer, he got his first big break in 1969. Harold Melvin was looking for another member for his band, The Blue Notes, and Teddy fit right in.

Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes became one of greatest R&B/Soul groups of the early 1970s. With Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, the creators of Philadelphia International Records and the Philadelphia Sound, backing them they had nothing to loose. With hits like, "If You Don't Know Me By Now", "I Miss You", "Wake Up Everybody" and "The Love I Lost", The Blue Notes made it known that they were a music group that was a force to be wreckoned with. And with Teddy leading most of the songs with his powerful and heart-wrenching voice, people started to take notice to this group especially the lead singer.

Teddy left The Blue Notes by 1975 to start his solo career. This is when he really got a chance to do what he wanted to artistically, which was something that he couldn't do with The Blue Notes. His first self titled album did very well and for the rest of the decade he would bless his audience with songs like "Love TKO", "Close The Door", "The More I Get, The More I Want" and "Turn Off The Lights". Teddy Pendergrass had officially made a name for himself in the music industry by the late 70s and early 80s and has been dubbed one of the greatest R&B/Soul artists of his time.

By 1982, Teddy was at the height of his career. Then tragedy struck. He got into death-threatening car accident that made him paralyzed from the neck down....But this did not stop Teddy. Since then he has released 7 albums, toured and been more active then ever. Although the car accident almost took his life, he would not allow it to take his soul and God-given purpose. He also created the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, which is a national organization that helps those who have damaged spinal cords rebuild their lives in any way possible.

Teddy Pendergrass was a true artist that will never be forgotten. It is so hard for me as a music lover to keep hearing about all of these great Black artists and performers that are dying. But one thing that we must remember is that their souls are still here through the music and great deeds that they have done for us. So, I leave you with one of the greatest performances that I have ever seen. I mean Teddy's voice roars in this song and it really touches my soul, and I know it will touch yours too. RIP, Teddy Bear! We miss you!

More on TP:



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