Thursday, January 14, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass, 1950-2010

When I was a child I did not listen to traditional children’s music, meaning my mother didn’t lose her sanity and I learned that “real” music didn’t revolve around the wheels on the bus, giant yellow animals or purple dinosaurs. Most of the time I’d listen to the Staple Singers, The Pointer Sisters, Bob James, David Sanborn (you must buy their Double Vision album!) Luther Vandross, Tina Turner, Diana Ross, Kenny G, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, and a whole host of other artist, which, of course, included Teddy Pendergrass.

Pendergrass began singing at the age of 2, which makes everyone else look like slackers, now doesn't it? He was originally part of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes. Surely no one forget If You Don’t Know Me By Now. His career was altered drastically following a car accident in 1982 that paralyzed him from the waist down. This accident spurred him to create the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance, an organization that assists individuals with spinal cord injuries “to achieve their maximum potential in areas of education, employment, housing, productivity and overall independence.” He’d continue to perform, releasing new material into the late 1990s, and received a Grammy nomination in 1989 for his song "Joy," yet it was his early music that still resounds with people today. My favorite song of his happens to be Love TKO. Please take a moment to enjoy and remember Pendegrass's life.

No comments: