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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

PEOPLES NEED TO WAKE UP TO THINGS GOING AROUND THEM THE BIBLE SPOKE OF THIS. THANK U HAROLD MELVIN & THE BLUE NOTES THANK YOU SMILE.....
Wow lovin dis s???!
My kind od music
note to self:next ti me they play th'miss yyoiu' dsong...shoo t it to th heat of th sun
Bobby you was of my favorite. I will never forget the music
Bobby you where one of the greatest in my book.Your music will carey on in my life!!!!YOU WILLBE MISSED R.I.P. GREATEST R&B SINGER♥♡♥♡♥♡
Love this song
divax17
The perfect example of quality music.
This is what music is all about!
Hell yeah be for "real"....♡♢
Harold Melvin and Sharon Paige sung lead vocals on this song. Teddy comes in at the end of the song. One of my favorites.
Absolutely �� this song...
Love Love Love this song especially Teddy P. :)
Teddy is the Bear....
Teddy is the man....
Amen Brother,chec k - o u t that Cover
*978*4m14y~
What a classy time in this music sexy romantic touching the inner soul. .....teddy was a bad man ......really smooth feel it still today ....and my lady can remember those day heaven sent love these artist like this Barry Luther Bobby and Al .......lou Rawls ...There so many .....my heart goes out to all that remember ...what I am trying to say ...I know we miss them days .Thank you Pandora
They had great voice famous Tubby
As long as this music plays, the philly sound will never die! This is real music. Peace people. Tiny S.F. mission
I never knew how they really felt about Harold Melvin until I watched Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes on Unsung last year. Harold actions were the reasons for Teddy P to leave the group. Even though they had some issues, I loved their music... #Classics
ispepell
Teddy was the right voice for this group. This is true music.
Awesome blend of voices!! The great TP sealing it up and shutting it down
One of my favorites
linda luck love teddy. the bluenotes were great
Great group
My aged have
"If You Don't Know Me by Now" was my favorite of all their songs!!! AWESOME!!! :-D
THE NEW BLUENOTES IS GOOD BUT IT GOING BE ONE HAROLD MELVIN AND BLUENOTES SMILE...
TEDDY WENT FROM BEING A DRUMMER TO LEAD THAT WAS BEAUITFUL SMILE..
THANK YOU FOR LETTING SHARON PAIGE AND THELMA HOUSTON DO SOME SONG WITH YOU ALL THEIR HAVE BEAUITFUL VOICES.. I STILL THINK HAROLD MELVIN AND TEDDY PRENDERGRASS MADE THE GROUP SMILE...
THEY PAVE WAY FOR UP COMING SINGER AND GROUPS COME PHILLY S.O. P SMILE..
I LOVE MANY MALE GROUPS CAME FROM PHIILLY. THANK YOU FOR THE PHILLY SOUND... R.I.P HAROLD MELVIN AND TEDDY PRENDERGRASS MY THE L ATE GREAT PHYLLIS HYMAN THEY WAS EXCELLENT MUSIC LOVE YOU SMILE..
Lovely2143 i just love the tthrowback
If You Love Me>>>>>WHAT a Song ! very moving
I Miss You...love this song by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes!!!
Hewas sodeep
ispepell
This my daddy's favorite song....Most High rest his soul, I can picture him sitting there singing it...I can hear him in my mind...I miss my daddy so much. I always cry when I listen to this song. The re-make sucked..can never sing it like Harold and the Bluenotes. True music at it's best.
I love you teddy and group.
Talk to me like a man!
It's all smooth,with gentleness to make the Real Connection, solidly, truthfully 4 everyone to share give&partake Deeply from your corazon (ur Heart) ★★★Trust is a "Must" S.G. ora'le
I love these guys right hurr sing it! Now listen listen heyyyyy.... old skool my pops and mom played them all the time!!
Anthony hamilton
I'm in my 50's and this kind of music still makes my heart fill every word. Love It!!!!!!
Romance behind close doors!!
My Mom played the song, I miss you,,,so much,,,now I know why
Yep
In the basement days, with the stroll lights.
They don't make music like this anymore.that s some real pimp s**t.
Hey a real ol'skool Jamm...
Does any one remember Teddy's women only concerts??
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