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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

x

Track List: The Essential Teddy Pendergrass

Disc 1

1. I Don't Love You Anymore

2. When Somebody Loves You Back

3. Come Go With Me

4. The Whole Town's Laughing At Me

5. Somebody Told Me

6. Love T.K.O.

7. You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration

8. And If I Had

9. Don't Leave Me This Way

10. I Miss You

11. The Love I Lost

12. Nine Times Out Of Ten

13. Life Is A Song Worth Singing

14. If You Don't Know Me By Now

Disc 2

2. Close The Door

3. It's Time For Love

4. Turn Off The Lights

7. Only You

8. Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose

12. This Gift Of Life

13. I'll Never See Heaven Again

14. I Want My Baby Back

x

Track List: The Love Songs Collection

1. Come Go With Me

2. When Somebody Loves You Back

3. Love T.K.O.

4. Can't We Try

6. Turn Off The Lights

7. Close The Door

8. Do Me

10. All I Need Is You

11. The More I Get, The More I Want

12. You're My Latest, Greatest Inspiration

13. Heaven Only Knows

15. Only To You

16. It's You I Love

17. It's Time For Love

x

Track List: It's Time For Love - This One's For You

Disc 1

1. I Can't Live Without Your Love

2. You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration

3. Nine Times Out Of Ten

4. Keep On Lovin' Me

5. It's Time For Love

6. She's Over Me

7. I Can't Leave Your Love Alone

8. You Must Live On

Disc 2

1. I Can't Win For Losing

2. This One's For You

3. Loving You Was Good

4. This Gift Of Life

5. Now Tell Me That You Love Me

7. Don't Leave Me Out Along The Road

8. Only To You

x

Track List: It's Time For Love - Heaven Only Knows

1. I Can't Live Without Your Love

2. You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration

3. Nine Times Out Of Ten

4. Keep On Lovin' Me

5. It's Time For Love

6. She's Over Me

7. I Can't Leave Your Love Alone

8. You Must Live On

9. Crazy About Your Love

10. Judge For Yourself

11. I Want My Baby Back

12. Life Is For Living

13. You And Me For Right Now

15. Heaven Only Knows

x

Track List: Truly Blessed

1. She Knocks Me Off My Feet

2. It Should've Been You

3. Don't You Ever Stop

4. It's Over

5. Glad To Be Alive

6. How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

7. I Find Everything In You

8. Spend The Night

9. With You

10. We Can't Keep Going On (Like This)

11. Truly Blessed

x

Track List: Joy

1. Joy

2. 2 A. M.

3. Good To You

4. I'm Ready

5. Love Is The Power

6. This Is The Last Time

7. Through The Falling Rain (Love Story)

8. Can We Be Lovers

x

Track List: TP

1. Is It Still Good To Ya

2. Take Me In Your Arms Tonight

3. I Just Called To Say

4. Can't We Try

5. Feel The Fire

6. Girl You Know

7. Love TKO

8. Let Me Love You

x

Track List: Teddy

1. Come Go With Me

2. Turn Off The Lights

3. I'll Never See Heaven Again

4. All I Need Is You

5. If You Know Like I Know

6. Do Me

7. Set Me Free

8. Life Is A Circle

x

Track List: Life Is A Song Worth Singing

1. Life Is A Song Worth Singing

2. Only You

3. Cold, Cold World

4. Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose

5. Close The Door

6. It Don't Hurt Now

7. When Somebody Loves You Back

x

Track List: Teddy Pendergrass

1. You Can't Hide From Yourself

2. Somebody Told Me

3. Be Sure

4. And If I Had

5. I Don't Love You Anymore

6. The Whole Town's Laughing At Me

7. Easy, Easy. Got To Take It Easy

8. The More I Get, The More I Want

x

Track List: Love Language

1. In My Time

2. So Sad The Song

3. Hot Love

4. Stay With Me

5. Hold Me (feat. Whitney Houston)

6. You're My Choice Tonight

7. Love

8. This Time Is Ours

Comments

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Everybody sooner,orlat e r went HEAD-OVER-HI L L S f o r songs by 'The Teddy-Bear!! ! ' . . .
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I loved his slow songs.
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I miss you so much ricky love you always baby
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I have this version and Seal's. I used to have Simple Red's too.
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One of the greats
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Love this song
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The Lyrics are simply beautiful... . y o u inspire me, Higher!
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Always and forever Teddy P
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I miss you so much baby come back home ricky love you forever baby
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Classic ♡♡
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C CD VZ D.'C
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Happy Birthday!!! Mommy love you Miss U
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You made philly proud, I dedicate all your songs to kattrina from big daddy.
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Teddy was that guy that brought it all for the brothers - tall, handsome, strong, voice, and sexual appear. Thanks.
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The whole town's laughing at me i miss you ricky love you baby
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One of the greatest
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ruchiewo01
One of a kind voice. Miss you Teddy
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Thank you Pandora for bringing back some very good memories with this music still sounds good today nothing else like the 70s music
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Teddy your music will forever live on!!
Rest in paradise❤
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scurryelder6
Such a soothing voice....gon e way to soon!
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I miss you baby love you forever ricky this song goes out to you
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No other decade had the soul of the 70s those artists had so much soul
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But none as delectable as u...Teddy u r truly missed
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Teddy was a beast! I'll miss his great voice.Al Wild��bx river pj's NYC rip Teddy
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My first love Robert bought this song (You're My Latest Greatest Inspiration) on a 45 when we dated back in the day....too young then to truly understand the meaning of this song!#always m y f i r s t l o v e R o b V .
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What amazed me about Teddy was after his car accident one would think, Aw man, that's too bad, this cat is done. Shoot, he had just as many hits after his accident as he had before! And his voice was still distinctive and had even so call real men saying, Yeah that brother can sing! In a crazy way, Teddy turned having sex into making love and it wasn't dirty. It was, well sexy when he sang about it.
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This old school music still sounds good today thanks for the memories
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Baby making music thank T.P.
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Boy I miss that soulful voice theirs none like it love you Teddy RIP
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Rip teddy that baritone voice will always be missed and a part of my life miss you
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Rip teddy and Harold Melvin your music will truly be missed
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Real,mature man voice. So great at what you do. Teddy thanks.
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srahde50
Does anyone recall if it was Teddy Pendergrass that sang his own version of the National Anthem in the 60"s or 70's ?

The song was prepared as a long version with a lot of heart.
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bluediamond5 8 . g l
He keeps on lifting me higher.. Grown folk music.. Love it.
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I miss you ricky come back to me baby we can make things right it's so long i love you baby
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Real love song here....
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R.I.P Teddy
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Was to young to b n love but i was, i hard footsteps
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There's nothing like this old school music the 70s music was the best music nothing else like it
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The whole album was a cut. When you played Teddy, the party was poppin and the ladies loved it and so did the men. Ted put it down. Our masculine, his voice, and music. Thanks Teddy P.
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The of the best singers that there ever been r.i.p
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Real love music.....
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I miss you ricky love you baby forever
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Too much has been said about the aka LATE (Teddy-Bear) , i like to think. That he was a musical 'genius'.... . . . . . , a l l the other .....,tabloi d s . . . . . . d o e s n ' t . Make or break my own thoughts!... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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This is the song that got them 80's babies. Let me do what I wondado!!!
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The 70's music was the best music!
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This song holds so much meaning for me. Several years ago, my husband and having an argument late one night in the kitchen and it was about jealousy. As we were arguing, as I was being very upset and angry, this song came on and it was like a message from the universe. It stopped me mid sentence.... S o I could really listen to the words. We made up right then and there. He and I have been together over thirty years now. Love, love, love this song.
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There's nothing like the music from the 70s it still sounds good today.i wish i could go back to the good old. Days
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Teddy P,,,,,,lord he's one of the greatest.... h i s songs truly move me,u r truly truly missed
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This song goes out to you ricky love you baby forever
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