January 13th in African American History – Theodore DeReese “Teddy” Pendergrass

Theodore DeReese “Teddy” PendergrassJanuary 13, 2010 Theodore DeReese “Teddy” Pendergrass, singer and songwriter, died.

Pendergrass was born March 26, 1950 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began his career as a drummer with The Cadillacs, who soon merged with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. With Pendergrass singing lead vocals, the group had such hits as “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” (1972) and “Wake Up Everybody” (1975).

In 1977, Pendergrass launched his solo career and released a number of successful albums, including “Teddy Pendergrass” (1977), “Life is a Song Worth Singing” (1978), which included the hit single “Close the Door,” and “It’s Time for Love” (1981). In 1982, Pendergrass was involved in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. After therapy, he returned to the studio and released “Love Language” (1984), “Joy” (1988), and “You and I” (1997). In 1998, Pendergrass published his autobiography, “Truly Blessed” and in 2006 he announced his retirement from the music business.


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