Teddy Pendergrass, the real superstar of the Gamble-Huff division of R&B, died late last night at age 59.
The amazing Teddy had been wheelchair bound since a car crash in 1982. Nevertheless, he continued his career, made albums and even started a foundation to raise money to help people with spinal cord injuries.
But Teddy is and will always be best remembered for silky soul voice, which has been the soundtrack to many a seduction. In the 1970s, he had hit after hit as the lead singer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes on Philadelpha International Records. “Bad Luck,” “The Love I Lost,” “Wake Up Everybody” are just three of the classics that made Teddy a star. He left Melvin and went solo later in the decade, and had more hits including “I Don’t Love You Anymore.” “Close the Door,” “Turn off the Lights,” and “The Whole Town’s Laughing at Me.” It was Teddy who recorded the original version of “Don’t Leave Me This Way” before Thelma Houston had a monster hit with it.
Rest in peace, Teddy. You were one of a kind, a great soul man. You will be missed, but never forgotten!
Here’s a link to a YouTube 1979 live performance of “Close the Door.” Teddy was sex on a stick. The women loved him, and here’s why.