Mar 18, 2017

RhoDeo 1711 Grooves


Today an American singer–songwriter and composer. He first rose to fame as lead singer of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes in the 1970s before a successful solo career at the end of the decade. In 1982, Pendergrass was severely injured in an auto accident in Philadelphia, resulting in his being paralyzed from the chest down.  ..... N'joy

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Born Theodore DeReese Pendergrass on March 26, at Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia and was the only child of Jesse and Ida Geraldine (née Epps) Pendergrass. When he was still very young, his father left the family; Jesse was fatally chest-stabbed on June 13, 1962. Pendergrass grew up in Philadelphia and sang often at church. He dreamed of being a pastor and got his wish when, at 10, he was ordained a minister (according to author Robert Ewell Greene). Pendergrass also took up drums during this time and was a junior deacon of his church.

He attended Thomas Edison High School for Boys in North Philadelphia (now closed). He sang with the Edison Mastersingers. He dropped out in the eleventh grade to enter the music business, recording his first song "Angel With Muddy Feet". The recording, however, was not a commercial success. Pendergrass played drums for several local Philadelphia bands, eventually becoming the drummer of The Cadillacs. In 1970, the singer was spotted by the Blue Notes' founder, Harold Melvin (1939–1997), who convinced Pendergrass to play drums in the group. However, during a performance, Pendergrass began singing along, and Melvin, impressed by his vocals, made him the lead singer. Before Pendergrass joined the group, the Blue Notes had struggled to find success. That all changed when they landed a recording deal with Philadelphia International Records in 1971, thus beginning Pendergrass's successful collaboration with label founders Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

In 1972, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes released their first single, a slow, solemn ballad entitled "I Miss You". The song was originally written for the Dells, but the group passed on it. Noting how Pendergrass sounded like Dells lead singer Marvin Junior, Kenny Gamble decided to build the song with Pendergrass, then only 21 at the time of the recording. Pendergrass sings much of the song in a raspy baritone voice that would become his trademark. The song also featured Blue Notes member Lloyd Parks singing falsetto in the background and spotlighted Harold Melvin adding in a rap near the end of the song as Pendergrass kept singing, feigning tears. The song, one of Gamble and Huff's most creative productions, became a major rhythm and blues hit and put the Blue Notes on the map. The group's follow-up single, "If You Don't Know Me by Now," brought the group to the mainstream with the song reaching the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 while also reaching number-one on the soul no.1 singles chart. Like "I Miss You" before it, the song was originally intended for a different artist, fellow Philadelphian native Patti LaBelle and her group Labelle but the group could not record it due to scheduling conflicts. Pendergrass and LaBelle developed a close friendship that would last until Pendergrass' death.

The group rode to fame with several more releases over the years including "The Love I Lost", a song that predated the upcoming disco music scene, the ballad "Hope That We Can Be Together Soon", and socially conscious singles "Wake Up Everybody" and "Bad Luck," the latter song about the Watergate scandal. One of the group's important singles was their original version of the Philly soul classic "Don't Leave Me This Way", which turned into a disco smash when Motown artist Thelma Houston released her version in 1976. By 1975, Pendergrass and Harold Melvin were at odds, mainly over monetary issues and personality conflicts. Despite the fact that Pendergrass sang most of the group's songs, Melvin was controlling the group's finances. At one point, Pendergrass wanted the group to be renamed "Teddy Pendergrass and the Blue Notes" because fans kept mistaking him for Melvin. Pendergrass left the group in 1975 and the Blue Notes struggled with his replacements. They eventually left Philadelphia International and toiled in relative obscurity, until Melvin's death in 1997. As of 2014, a version of the group still tours the old school circuit, performing as Harold Melvin's Blue Notes.

In 1977, Pendergrass released his self-titled album, which went platinum on the strength of the disco hit "I Don't Love You Anymore". Its follow-up single, "The Whole Town's Laughing At Me," became a top 20 R&B hit. Although not released as singles, the uptempo album tracks "You Can't Hide From Yourself" and "The More I Get, The More I Want", as well as the ballad "And If I Had" were also hits. The debut album was quickly followed by Life Is a Song Worth Singing, in 1978. That album was even more successful with its singles "Only You" and the classic million selling number 1 R&B hit "Close the Door." The latter song firmly established Pendergrass as the top male sex symbol in music. The album's popularity was furthered by the disco hit "Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose", the ballad "It Don't Hurt Now", and the mid-tempo classic "When Somebody Loves You Back". That double platinum number 1 R&B triumph was followed up in the year 1979 by two successes, the albums Teddy (which stayed at number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart for 8 weeks and was named the 2nd biggest R&B album of the year), and the live release Live Coast to Coast. Hits off Teddy included the classics "Come Go With Me", the legendary erotic ballad "Turn Off the Lights", and the uptempo album cut "Do Me". With his sex appeal at an all-time high after his 1979 tour, Pendergrass took a more mellow approach on his 1980 album TP'. It included the classic number 2 R&B hit "Love TKO", the Stephanie Mills duet version of "Feel The Fire", and the Ashford & Simpson composition "Is It Still Good to You". Between 1977 and 1981, Pendergrass landed four consecutive platinum albums, which was a then-record setting number for a rhythm and blues artist.

Pendergrass' popularity became massive at the end of 1978. With sold-out audiences packing his shows, his manager - the renowned Shep Gordon, who was known for his innovative approaches to publicizing his artists - soon noticed that a huge number of his audience consisted of women of all races. Gordon devised a plan for Pendergrass' next tour to play to just female audiences, starting a trend that continues today called "women only concerts." With four platinum albums and two gold albums, Pendergrass was on his way to being what the media called "the black Elvis", not only in terms of his crossover popularity but also due to him buying a mansion akin to Elvis' Graceland, located just outside his hometown of Philadelphia. By early 1982, Pendergrass was perhaps the leading R&B male artist of his day, equaling the popularity of Marvin Gaye, and surpassing Barry White and all others in the R&B field. In 1980, the Isley Brothers released "Don't Say Goodnight (It's Time for Love)" to compete with Pendergrass' "Turn Off the Lights", which sensed Pendergrass' influence on the quiet storm format of black music.

On March 18, 1982, in the East Falls section of Philadelphia on Lincoln Drive near Rittenhouse Street, Pendergrass was involved in an automobile accident. He lost control of his Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit - the car hit a guard rail, crossed into the opposite traffic lane, and hit two trees. Pendergrass and his passenger, Tenika Watson, a nightclub performer with whom Pendergrass was not previously acquainted, were trapped in the wreckage for 45 minutes. While Watson walked away from the accident with minor injuries, Pendergrass suffered a spinal cord injury, leaving him a paraplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.

Pendergrass got well-wishes from thousands of his fans during his recovery. In August 1982, Philadelphia International released This One's for You, which failed to chart successfully, as did 1983's Heaven Only Knows. Both albums included material Pendergrass had recorded prior to his accident. The albums completed his contract with Philadelphia International. By the time Pendergrass decided to return to the studio to work on new music he struggled to find a recording deal. Eventually signing a deal and completing physical therapy, he released Love Language in 1984. The album included the pop ballad "Hold Me", featuring a then-unknown Whitney Houston. It reached #38 on the Billboard album chart and was certified Gold by the RIAA.

On July 13, 1985, Pendergrass made an emotional return to the stage at the historic Live Aid concert in Philadelphia in front of a live audience of over 99,000 and an estimated 1.5 billion television viewers. It was the 35-year-old's first live performance following his 1982 accident. Pendergrass tearfully thanked the audience for keeping him in their well-wishes and then performed the Diana Ross classic "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)". In 1988, Pendergrass scored his first R&B number-one hit in nearly a decade when the new jack swing-styled "Joy", from his album of the same name, was released. A video of the song enjoyed heavy rotation on BET. It was also his final Hot 100 charted single, peaking at number 77. The album was certified Gold by the RIAA that same year. Also, Pendergrass' voice was heard on the jingles of a then local Philadelphia radio station, WSNI-FM. Pendergrass kept recording through the 1990s. One of the singer's final hits was the hiphop-leaning "Believe in Love", released in 1994. In 1996, he starred alongside Stephanie Mills in the touring production of the gospel musical Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. In 1998, Pendergrass released his autobiography entitled, Truly Blessed.

Pendergrass did a concert at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, California, on February 14, 2002, entitled "The Power of Love". The concert became the album From Teddy, With Love, which was released on the Razor & Tie record label later that year. It was his second (after Live! Coast to Coast) and final live album. Clips of the concert, in particular his performance of his comeback song "Joy". can still be seen on YouTube. In his later years, Pendergrass' “Wake Up Everybody” has been covered by a diverse range of acts from Simply Red to Patti LaBelle and was chosen as a rallying cry during the 2004 Presidential campaign by Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds to mobilize voters. In addition, Little Brother, Kanye West, Cam'ron, Twista, Ghostface, Tyrese Gibson, 9th Wonder, DMX and DJ Green Lantern have utilized his works.

In 2006, Pendergrass announced his retirement from the music business. In 2007, he briefly returned to performing to participate in Teddy 25: A Celebration of Life, Hope & Possibilities, a 25th anniversary awards ceremony that marked Pendergrass' accident date, but also raised money for his charity, The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, and honored those who helped Pendergrass since his accident. On June 5, 2009, Pendergrass underwent successful surgery for colon cancer and returned home to recover. A few weeks later he returned to the hospital with respiratory issues. After seven months, he died of respiratory failure on January 13, 2010, at age 59, with wife Joan by his side, There are plans to make a feature film biopic of Pendergrass's life, and Tyrese Gibson is set to star as the late singer.

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This was the album that convinced anyone who had doubts about the wisdom of Pendergrass leaving Harold Melvin &the Blue Notes that he had made a good decision. Although he only got one R&B hit from the album, there were enough strong ballads and uptempo cuts to show that Pendergrass had the sound, personality, and style to cut it on his own. He would shortly become R&B's greatest male attraction, but in the interim, Philadelphia International was laying the ground work.

Teddy Pendergrass - Life Is A Song Worth Singing    (flac  228mb)

01 Life Is A Song Worth Singing 4:12
02 Only You 5:05
03 Cold, Cold World 4:32
04 Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose 5:25
05 Close The Door 5:27
06 It Don't Hurt Now 6:00
07 When Somebody Loves You Back 4:58

Teddy Pendergrass - Life Is A Song Worth Singing  (ogg   126mb)

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In the midst of his late-'70s hot streak, Teddy Pendergrass slowed down his groove somewhat for most of Teddy, his third excellent album in three years, and reprised the hushed tone and bedroom motifs that had made "Close the Door" such a success a year earlier. Pendergrass had sung bedroom ballads before "Close the Door," but that song in particular resonated -- and still resonates -- with his listeners, Philly soul and quiet storm fans alike. It's not surprising, then, that Teddy begins with back-to-back seducers penned by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff -- "Come Go With Me" and "Turn Off the Lights" -- that are clearly modeled after "Close the Door," and wonderfully so at that. Next come "I'll Never See Heaven Again" and "All I Need Is You," which keep the tempo laid-back and the mood sentimental, closing out the first side smoothly. The second side gets off to a jumping start with "If You Know Like I Know," one of the most ferocious songs Pendergrass ever recorded, a sweaty disco workout driven by a funky bassline that just doesn't stop and a long-winded rant of bellowed pleading. "Do Me" likewise jumps along but does so more lightly and playfully, and then "Set Me Free" and "Life Is a Circle" again up the intensity level and showcase Pendergrass in a frantic mood. The bipolar nature of Teddy, with its quiet storm first side and disco-soul second, gives it a consistent flow that prolongs the mutually stimulating moods of each side. This is a marked difference from the likewise rock-solid Teddy Pendergrass (1977) and Life Is a Song Worth Singing (1978), which generally alternated up-tempo steppers cuts with down-tempo slow jams. As such, Teddy does foreshadow Pendergrass' drift toward mass-market studiocraft, but he's far from being formulaic here on Teddy, where he's still ablaze and bearing the distinct mark of top-shelf Philly International.

Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy    (flac  263mb)

01 Come Go With Me 5:48
02 Turn Off The Lights 5:55
03 I'll Never See Heaven Again 4:49
04 All I Need Is You 4:35
05 If You Know Like I Know 5:05
06 Do Me 4:41
07 Set Me Free 5:05
08 Life Is A Circle 5:50

Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy  (ogg     113mb)

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Teddy Pendergrass was near, if not at, the pinnacle of a prosperous music career upon this album's release, which spawned two Top Ten singles. "Can't We Try," with its tender introduction, slowly builds into a dramatic vamp in which Pendergrass' domineering baritone clinches each lyric with absolute conviction -- an awesome display of vocal power and control. The compassionate number peaked at number three on the Billboard R&B charts after 16 weeks. Pendergrass did not lose any steam on the charts. The follow-up single, "Love T.K.O.," came strong. His testimonial lead carried this crafty number to the second position on the charts, holding down that slot for five consecutive weeks before bowing after 18 weeks. However, the best track on this album is the duet with Stephanie Mills; "Feel the Fire," penned by Peabo Bryson, rings with passion and sensuality. Pendergrass and Mills' vocals strikingly contrast each other in an admirable way. The song was never a release, but remains a constant on Quiet Storm formats. On a few numbers, such as the Ashford & Simpson remake "Is It Still Good to Ya," Pendergrass labors through the verses, struggling to find his form. Though a great song, it does very little for the former Blue Note. Notwithstanding, there are quite a few gems here.

Teddy Pendergrass - TP  (flac 246mb)

01 Is It Still Good To Ya 4:35
02 Take Me In Your Arms Tonight 5:24
03 I Just Called To Say 4:28
04 Can't We Try 5:04
05 Feel The Fire 5:31
06 Girl You Know 4:03
07 Love T.K.O. 5:00
08 Let Me Love You 5:15

Teddy Pendergrass - TP (ogg  106mb)

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Teddy Pendergrass showed no signs of slowing down in the early '80s. This was another R&B smash and crossover hit, again putting him the Top 20. He got two good R&B singles, remained a popular concert attraction, and demonstrated good rapport with Stephanie Mills on several duets. They teamed so well together that Pendergrass eventually appeared on stage with her during a tour of England.

Teddy Pendergrass - It's Time For Love   (flac  212mb)

01 I Can't Live Without Your Love 3:01
02 You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration 5:23
03 Nine Time Out Of Ten 4:13
04 Keep On Lovin' Me 4:38
05 It's Time For Love 5:58
06 She's Over Me 3:52
07 I Can't Leave Your Love Alone 4:43
08 You Must Live On 3:49

Teddy Pendergrass - It's Time For Love  (ogg   95mb)

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