Since we lost a great voice this week, I’m compelled to post a clip I found of Teddy Pendergrass, one of the most identifiable voices in R&B, who rose to prominence as one of the featured singers in an R&B powerhouse of the 70s, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes. The Blue Notes had a successful career, recording top-sellers “I Miss You,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Bad Luck” and scores of others. Pendergrass’s sweet, broad baritone resonated on many of their biggest hits. In the late 70s, Teddy left the “Notes” to embark on a successful solo career, in which he morphed into a steamy, sex-charged love balladeer whose dynamic stage presence attracted large, ethnically diverse crowds including women of all ages (who appreciated far more than just his music). In 1981, he had a car crash that left him paralyzed. Many thought that he’d never perform again but a force of nature, Pendergrass proved them wrong, performing through the 90’s. The new millennium found Pendergrass musically inactive but by then, songs he’d made famous were being widely covered by artists like Patti La Belle and Simply Red. According to Wikipedia, ” Little Brother, Kanye West, Cam’Ron, Twista, Ghostface, 9th Wonder, DMX and DJ Green Lantern” have also used Pendergrass’s music.
From 1975, here’s “Wake Up, Everybody”.
And here’s how it sounded when remade in 2008
God bless, you Teddy. Thanks for decades of great music. As the saying goes, “when you laid it down, it stayed laid.”