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Movie Mom

Tribute: Teddy Pendergrass

posted by Nell Minow

Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass died of cancer on Wednesday. His music and his courage and dedication will continue to inspire us all.

  • Doreen Ambrose-Van Lee

    Philadelphia born soul legend Theodore Dereese Pendergrass has left us but he will always remain one of my most favorite singers of all time. Teddy Pendergrass gave us an entire catalog of uplifting songs such as ‘Wake Up Everybody’ to sensuous songs as *Close The Door.*
    In the 90’s, I had the pleasure of reading his biography, *Truly Blessed* and discovered that the was his mother*s miracle child because she suffered several miscarriages before Teddy Pendergrass was born on March 26, 1950. Much to the dismay of his mother Teddy was not close to his father at all. His father was killed when Teddy was12. I was a fan when he started off with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.That soaring tenor and baritone just beckoned the ear to *come on over to my place.* I look at Teddy Pendergrass’ career in utter amazement. This man commanded the charts for a great while and held sold out concerts. Men and women alike have great adoration for Teddy Pendergrass. When Teddy Pendergrass sang ‘The More I Get, The More I Want,’ you believed him. When he sang, *I Don*t Love You Anymore,* you understood him and when he sang *You Can*t Hide From Yourself’, you instantly knew it. When he sung, *If You Don*t Know Me By Now* the world took heed and everyone from Patti Labelle To Simply Red echoed the sentiment.
    When I was a kid, I remember my father going to the barbershop and buying the Love TKO album and bringing it home and playing it when he thought we were asleep. My mom went out and bought a dress to wear to the *For Ladies Only concert My father promised her he’d take her if she’d take him to see Aretha Franklin or Chaka Khan in concert when they came to Chicago. Man, watching my parents getting prepared for the concert was like watching a concert! While TP’s ‘It Don*t Hurt Now’ was on the turntable my father was bobbing his head to the beat and my mom was spraying perfume and powder and running back and forth to every mirror in the house to see which pair of earrings went best with her new outfit. My mother was going to see the Teddy Bear and she was not going to be short stopping! Teddy Pendergrass always had a penchant for making hits for the ladies and with the ladies. I really loved his duet *Two Hearts* with Stephanie Mills and *Hold Me* with Whitney Houston.
    Unlike my parents, I never got a chance to see TP in concert. In the early 80’s after the accident that left him confined to a wheelchair his touring schedule came to a halt. But I will always remember the jewels that he gave to the world even after his unfortunate accident*Joy* and My Greatest Inspiration*. After the accident Pendergrass became a staunch advocate for the disabled just as actor Christopher Reeves.
    Radio stations around the world will have tributes ranging from playing his music to dedication blogs on their web sites. Black Entertainment Television may even do a tribute like they did for Michael Jackson. But whatever is in the works, I just want to say that Teddy Pendergrass left behind a great body of work and he will truly be missed.
    Congratulations! Your segment, ‘When Somebody Loves You Back: Tribute To Teddy Pendergrass ‘, has been featured on this playlist: A Crazy Runner (http://vocalo.org/on-air/playlist/57257). You can hear your piece live at Tuesday, January 19th, 2010 7:00am – 10:00am or in the archives anytime after that.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks so much for a wonderful comment, Ms. Ambrose-Van Lee! Beautifully expressed and most appreciated.

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