RIP, Teddy Pendergrass

This has been an awful, awful week for bad news. Today apparently is no exception. I just woke up to learn that R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass has passed away.

What a sad way to kick off a Throwback Thursday post.

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CNN reports that he passed away last night, and details aren’t forthcoming but his death was related to complications from his 1982 car accident.

“His beloved family surrounded him. The world has lost one of its greatest voices and performers.” “His family is devastated. He has three children and, even though it was expected, it still hurts,” his former publicist, Lisa Barbaris, said.

When I was a young’un, Teddy’s music was too grown and sexy for me. But as I got older and started digging in the crates (so to speak), I came to appreciate his smoldering, quiet storm style of music.

Thanks to the hip hop generation, samples from songs like Love TKO became part of popular music again, and became one of the top 10 hip hop samples of all time (at least according to that YouTube video).

Close the Door, live. Ooooh wee. That’s the Teddy P I wasn’t allowed to see as a kid, and the Teddy P we all remember – sweaty, sexy, with all those gold medallions around his neck. It doesn’t get much sexier than that.

This song never fails to put a smile on my face. Even the title. It’s so good, loving somebody When Somebody Loves You Back. So true, so uplifting.

And my favorite Teddy Pendergrass song came from his days with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes.

Yes, Teddy sang lead on If You Don’t Know Me By Now, and ripped hearts in two with those powerful lyrics back in 1972. Soul music doesn’t get much sweeter.

Teddy Pendergrass gave us so many classic soul hits, and set the bar so high for R&B singers to come. His passing comes after years of suffering, after being paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident back in 1982. Teddy P, we thank you for your music and the inspiration you gave the world. Rest in Peace.

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Comments

  1. Okra n Tomatoes says:

    I too is saddened. I even owned Teddy jeans.

    I’ve takin’ out all my TP collection and today will be my tribute to him.

    Its time for him to rest now.

  2. My mother loved loved loved Teddy Pendergrass! I grew to love him later, because my mom played his albums so much, as a teen, I was a little through with him. My favorite is Love TKO! Those lyrics are a TKO!

  3. Oh wow, Bella…I’d forgotten about his days with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. That clip takes me back in more ways than one. Look at all those ‘fros in the audience!

    As I posted on my FB page, he’s another one of my teenage crushes gone too soon… :(

  4. ESTEBAN AGOSTO REID says:

    R.I.P. Teddy.

  5. I heard Teddy Pendergrass succumbed, yesterday, to a difficult recovery from colon cancer surgery 8 months ago.

    Thankfully, my city (Philadelphia) held a tribute to the Teddy Bear at a time when he could appreciate our genuine appreciation of him. While I was unable to attend “Teddy 25: A Celebration of Life, Hope & Possibilities,” I heard it was a fabulous, touching event.

    Teddy’s masterful legacy is his soul-stirring music catalogue. Yes, TP will live on forever.

  6. Now, I’m hearing TP’s cancer diagnosis came 8 months and his surgery was much more recent. Whatever the case may be, rest well, Mr. Pendergrass. Rest in peace.

  7. I agree Bella it’s just been a sad week all around….RIP Teddy P!

  8. It seems as the years go by, we are losing more than we will ever get back in the entertainment industry. RIP Teddy P–You will always be the “latest and greatest inspiration” for any male R & B singer who tries to call himself “grown & sexy”!

  9. It was sad to hear about Teddy Pendergrass passing. I love, love, love Life is a song worth singing. Truly inspirational lyrics!

  10. Some of the est memories of my childhood was my family listening to his music while cleaning the house on Saturday morning. I can’t believe how young he was!

  11. This Philadelphia Inquirer article gives a good account of the Pendergrass funeral:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20100123_Thousands_mourn_Teddy_Pendergrass.html

  12. Anthony Figgiani says:

    It’s been several months since my IDOL Teddy Pendergrass passed on, his music has always been part of my childhood and has touched me spiritually and emotionally songs like wake up everybody, You’re My Latest, Greatest Inspiration, Easy Easy Got To Take It Easy , So Good Lovin Somebody and Somebody loves You Back, and The Love I Lost has inspired me to be more of a loving & compassionate person cause once your gone your GONE. The love I lost how appropriate to describe my true feelings to my IDOL. R.I.P. MY BROTHER.

    LOL
    Anthony Figgiani

  13. Anthony Figgiani says:

    One of the smoothest songs ever recorded by Teddy Pendergrass ` Easy Easy Got To Take It Easy. I was in High School when this song first came out and all the night clubs and after hour clubs in NYC & Brooklyn NY use to play this song in the wee hours of the morning part of there slow jams repertoire, still sounds sooo …smooth. I WILL MISS YOU TEDDY PENDERGRASS R.I.P. MY BROTHER.

    LOL
    Anthony Figgiani

  14. Anthony Figgiani says:

    Teddy Pendergrass and Harold Melvin and the blue notes music was a major part of childhood. growing up as a kid I used to listen to WBLS 107.5 fm radio station in New York. djs Frankie Crocker & Hal Jackson use to play one of my favorite songs titled: You Know How To Make Me Feel So Good, and thats how his music affected me. I will miss Teddy Pendergrass very much. R.I.P. my brother.

    LOL
    Anthony Figgiani

  15. Anthony Figgiani says:

    LOL = LOTS OF LOVE.
    ? ? Anthony Figgiani ? ?.

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