Thursday, March 06, 2008

OST Artist Spotlight: Teddy Pendergrass

Here's the twist on Old School Thursday this month. For the month of March (and part of April) I will be highlighting Aries artists from the Old School. I get a pass on my birthday...the 27th...because I'm such a Prince fan...that day will have at least 4 mixes of Prince music! But I digress

Aries artists have a certain "Diva" quality about them and as soon as I highlight them you will recognize it immediately. I am not ashamed of being a's who I was born to be!

From now on, Old School Thursday will contain a mix instead of a package of music for download. Considering the hard times for recording artists...I have had a stroke of conscious and decided not to offer the music that way.'ll have to listen to my mixes. Sorry, but if you really really gotta have the music pack...leave me a comment and I'll send it!

The first Aries artist is Teddy Pendergrass! He epitomizes the nature of the Aries man (read here). Sexy, smooth talker, handsome in a rugged way, charismatic....I only wish I was older so I could have gone to his "Ladies Only" concerts. I'm sure panties dropped on stage like rain! When my mother listened to Teddy, I could have sworn she was single! As an older woman, now I can appreciate his songs of love, longing and despair. A social activist as well, when Teddy was with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, they sang songs to uplift and educate the nation. Even "Bad Luck", with its superstitious undertone, provided a look in the state of Black America in the 70's.

Once he became a solo singer, the sex symbol jumped from the group setting. It was then that we saw the true flavor that became known as TEDDY! I have included the full bio below the break with plenty of pics to showcase one of my favorite artists of all time!

Track Listing :

You Got What I Need
I Don't Love You Anymore
You Can't Hide from Yourself
Bad Luck (HM&BN)
Satisfaction Guaranteed (Or Take Your Love Back)(HM&BN)
The Love I Lost (HM&BN)
Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose
Don't Leave Me This Way
When Somebody Loves You Back
Two Hearts (with Stephanie Mills)
Love TKO
Come On Over To My Place
Turn Off The Lights
If You Don't Know Me By Now (HM&BN)
I Miss You (HM&BN)
Hold Me In Your Arms (with Whitney Houston)
Feel The Fire (with Stephanie Mills)

Listen Here

Download Here

Here's the song not on the playlist (Close The Door) (thank Ill Mami for the link)


Theodore DeReese Pendergrass, Sr. (born March 26, 1950 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) affectionately known as 'Teddy P', "TP", or "Teddy Bear" is an American soul singer.

Early life
He was born to Ida Geraldine Epps and the late Jesse Pendergrass, who left when Teddy was very young and was never a part of Teddy's life. He was a student at the old Thomas Edison High School for Boys. However, he dropped out in the 11th grade to go into the music business. His first taste of show business was in Nova Scotia, Canada with a James Brown clone of a musician named Little Royal. Afterwards, Pendergrass left for unknown reasons. According to author Robert Ewell Greene, Teddy Pendergrass was ordained a minister as a youngster. Later he was to become a drummer for a band, and later lead singer. The church was his initiation for talent and eventual success.

Musical career

Pendergrass' career began when he was a drummer for The Cadillacs, which soon merged with Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Melvin invited Pendergrass to become the lead singer after he jumped from the rear of a stage and started singing his heart out. Months later the group signed with Gamble & Huff on the then CBS subsidiary Philadelphia International Records in 1972. The Blue Notes had hits such as "I Miss You", "Bad Luck", "Wake Up Everybody", "The Two Million Seller", "If You Don't Know Me By Now", and many more. Following personality conflicts between Melvin and Pendergrass and a brief stint with Teddy leading a group of Blue Notes, Pendergrass launched a solo career and released hit singles like "The More I Get the More I Want", "Close The Door" (also redone by Boyz ll Men in 2004), "I Don't Love You Anymore", "Turn Off The Lights", and more. Pendergrass was the first African-American singer to sell five platinum albums in a row. He also began his practice of ladies-only concerts, for which he remains well-known. His first solo album was self titled Teddy Pendergrass (1977), followed by Life Is a Song Worth Singing (1978), Live Coast to Coast and Teddy (1979), 1980's TP and the final Philadelphia International Records album It's Time For Love (1981). In August 1982, PIR also released "This One's For You" while TP was recovering. Even in 1983 the album "Heaven Only Knows" was released. This was his last album containing his pre-accident recordings. Ten years after the accident, he recorded a version of "One Shining Moment," the theme for March Madness Basketball on CBS.

On March 18, 1982, in the Germantown section of Philadelphia on Lincoln Drive, Pendergrass was involved in an automobile accident when the brakes failed on his Rolls-Royce and he hit a tree, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury. In the car with him was Tenika Watson, 31. They were trapped in the auto 45 minutes after the 1:30 A.M. accident. The police said there were no indications of drug or alcohol use. He was taken to a center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital for treatment. Ms. Watson was released after treatment at a hospital while Pendergrass spent six months in rehabilitation.

After completing physical therapy, he returned to the studio to record the album Love Language, featuring the 1984 ballad "Hold Me", a duet with a then-unknown Whitney Houston. He also returned to the public for a performance on July 13, 1985 at the historic Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, then continued to record throughout the 1980s and 90s. Pendergrass has published a biography with Patricia Romanowski, entitled 'Truly Blessed'. Pendergrass divorced Karen Still-Pendergrass in 2002, after 15 years of marriage, stating irreconcilable differences. He last performed publicly in 2003. In 2006, he announced on a radio station in New York that he has officially retired from the music business,but in May 2007, announced on New York radio station WBLS that he will perform live for the first time since 2003 at a June 10, 2007 benefit concert in Philadelphia. The performance will benefit The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, formed by Mr. Pendergrass to help improve the quality of life for survivors of spinal cord injuries.

Currently, Mr. Pendergrass resides in the well-heeled Philadelphia suburb of Penn Valley, Pennsylvania.

(Bio credit)

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