Celebrity Underrated - The Teddy Pendergrass Story
When it comes to R&B soul music in the seventies, the ladies would tell you who is that one singer who voice could get them in that mood. You had Marvin Gaye. You had Al Green, yeah, Barry White. And you had Teddy P now, see Teddy Undergrads voice sold the song.
It was smooth very soulful baritone. It was that powerful Janet Jackson said in an interview that when she was young, she had fantasies of being with Teddy P as an adult because she thought he was singing to her Teddy. P also was the first black. Male singer to have five consecutive, platinum albums Teddy, P man, let's get into his story.
Man. Now Teddy Undergrads was born March, 26 1950 and Philadelphia Pennsylvania now see growing up. He was the only child to his parents, Jesse and EDA. And his mother Newt said, he was special because she had like six miscarriages before making Teddy the seventh child.
The god number, but his father, Jesse, Undergrads left before he was born and moved in with another woman now. And his mother would have him in. Church all the time. And at the age of two years old Teddy stood on the chair to sing his first song in front of everybody in church. And as he got older, he began to sing in choirs school dances on the street corners. And by the age of ten, he was ordained as a minister by the age of twelve, his father Jesse Undergrads was murdered from being stabbed by one of his own friends Teddy said, he has only seen his father twice in his whole life by that time Teddy fell in love with R&B music like James, Brown.
And especially after, he saw singer, Jackie Wilson, perform at the Uptown Theater and how the ladies went crazy for now in his teenage years, though Teddy did hang out with gangs, and he got in trouble spending time in a juvenile detention after a wrongful arrest for robbery. But for the most part, he would go to work with his mother who worked at a restaurant, where a lot of famous stars would visit and that's where he learned how to play drums. He didn't even use the drumsticks. He was just used his.
Fingers to play by ear. Now he started ticking music serious. And he ended up meeting a producer and recorded his first solo song title angel with muddy feet.
But the song went nowhere. So Teddy went back to playing drums after that Teddy dropped out of high school and got an opportunity to be a drummer playing for a guy named little royal in different cities. But see him a little raw you had to fallen out, and they start working together. And then he started playing drums for another group named the. Cadillacs now, at that time, Harold Melvin was part of a 50s, dewdrop group called the blue notes that had split up, and Harold Melvin was looking for new members. Now after seeing Teddy in the Cadillacs, perform Harold, Melvin hired them for his new group, they begin to perform in Hotel lounges clubs, just anywhere to be seen and heard and make some money.
Now, sometimes some members would be late for the shows and the club owners with docked their pay, even though said, he was the drummer of the. Group, he also showed him that he could sing as well while playing drums that's, when Harold Melvin realized that Teddy was gifted, it made him the lead singer. The group now once Teddy became lead singer that's when the group began to gain a fan base. And people began to take notice of Teddy smooth and soulful voice, producers, gamble and Huff who had just started a record label called Philadelphia International Records was that one of their shows watching them perform and liked what they heard. Now.
Gamble and Huff began working with the group and toe Harold Melvin that Teddy's voice is the reason they want to work with them. Now, once the contract came around, though Harold Melvin took control and named the group, Harold Melvin and the blue notes that way the money will come to him first. And everybody would think he was doing all the lead singing instead.
Now after signing that contract to Philadelphia International Records with gamble and Huff, Harold Melvin and the blue notes released their. First single call I miss you, which was originally written for the Dells, but they passed on it. Now see the movie the fire heartbeats was based on the Dells Eddie Kane in that movie was based on Marvin jr. of the Dales and that's. Why gamble and Huff decided to let Teddy sing that song because his voice remind them of Marvin Julius anyway, though that song I, miss, you made some noise in the industry. But their second single title.
If you don't know me by now became their first number-one hit topping. The US R&B charts and peaking at number three on the US, Billboard, Hot, 100 selling over 1 million copies. Now that song was originally written for Patti LaBelle and her group LaBelle, but they never recorded it because they are too busy at the time Harold Melvin and the blue notes continue to drop hits like they love our loss that went number one, wake up everybody that went number one hope that we can be together soon, which featured a female singer Sharon page, went number one and other songs. And as.
The group continued to be successful, Teddy got tired of fans, calling him Harold, Melvin doe and wanted the group to be renamed Teddy Undergrads. And the Blue Notes Plus Harold Melvin was a control of the group's money. Also, Harold Melvin was jealous on how the fans especially the ladies will go crazy over teddy. And you know, Teddy just got fed up on how Harold Marvin was treating them and just made that decision to do his own thing. Now once Teddy decided to leave the rest of the members decided to.
Go with Teddy to huff and Gamble, try to convince Teddy to stay with the Bluenose because they have already built a fan base, but Teddy was ready to move on and his new manager and girlfriend. Tess Lane was behind him 100%. Now, a solo artist with his own record deal with gamble and Huff that made Harold Melvin angry. He was putting threats out in filthy streets on CTI. Now, his new manager test was very well-known in Philly, because she was once married to Philadelphia Eagles running back Izzy Lane. She was. A model she owned a beauty salon and was good friends with singers, Dionne Warwick and Nancy Wilson.
Now only after dating for two months, Teddy and Tad's broke up, but she remained his manager for teddy bear productions and months before, releasing his debut album, Jazz Lane was shot to death. And no one was ever convicted. And the case remains unsolved. I mean, rumors spread that Teddy has something to do with her death. But he denied after her death in 1977.
He released his self-titled album with the hits. I don't love you anymore. And the whole challenge laughing at me, the album was certified platinum.
His second album, though life is a song where singing is the album that made Teddy the sex symbol for ladies hits like closed. The door spent two weeks at number one on the R&B chart and was certified gold. Other hits off that album include get up get down, get funky get loose. It doesn't hurt now. And when somebody loves you back pushing that album to double platinum, I mean, the hits kept rolling mine come.
Go with me, turn off the lights, love TKO and plenty more had Teddy peace, selling our tours worldwide, calling him the black Elvis. And also the teddy bear one tour he called for women only concerts with women of all races. Audience, members were given chocolate.
Teddy bear shake lollipops to lick. I mean, they were throwing panties on a stage going crazy for Teddy man during that time Teddy had a lot of power in Philadelphia. And a lot of people with jealous of he won an American Music Award for favorite. Soul R&B male artist in 1979, tied with new rolls.
He had a mansion with 34 rooms on 14 acres of land, horses Learjet and all types of luxury cars and Dortmund deals with beer companies. And his own jeans called Teddy jeans. They say cops will follow him everywhere. He would go trying to arrest him. Harass him mobsters in the cities was trying to extort them.
Somebody would cut his brake lines and his cars, hoping he crash, even Marvin Gaye accused Teddy of taking his style from songs and even growing a. Similar beer, Plus Teddy was having an affair with Marvin Gaye's wife at that time, Jan Game Rick James said, he tried to give Teddy advice about the music business and told him stop messing with other men wives and girlfriends. But he wouldn't. Listen. He also had problems with the Islam Brothers, Bobby, Womack, I mean, I mean, everybody wanted a piece of teddy some kind of weight during that time and on March 18th, 1982 after leaving the club with Tamika Watson, who was a transgender nightclub performer. And prostitute who real name was John Watson. Teddy was driving his Rolls-Royce fast when his brakes gave out, and he lost control of the car crashing into a guardrail hitting two trees, Teddy and Tamika was pinned in that car for almost an hour before help would arrive now Tamika somehow survived that crash with just minor injuries I think just to chip to for something she had while Teddy was thrown into the backseat, leaving him with a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the chest down.
Leaving him a quadriplegic. Now after the accident, Teddy's sexuality would be called into question and rumors begin to fly that he was gay, but Teddy never addressed the allegations. And after spending six months in the hospital, the doctors told him, he probably only had seven years to live once Teddy got home. He was suicidal and try to convince his girlfriend Karen to help him in this life by giving him an overdose of sleeping pills.
Because he couldn't do it himself because he was paralyzed now see. Karen really loved teddy, though she used to be one of his dances. And she was there right by his side when he suffered severe depression and insomnia for years. It was her that made Teddy realized that his family friends. And the fans were supporting him, which motivated him to work and regain his strength and singing ability Teddy did marry Karen years later around 1987. Anyway, now, I'm ready to record, but Teddy was having trouble getting a record deal because of his injury, but Asylum Records gave. Him a shot, he recorded an album titled love language, which was also the debut for an unknown 21-year-old named Whitney Houston on a song hold me, which was her first chart hit also by Whitney being on that song with teddy.
She lost a Grammy for Best New Artist. In 1985, we shot a because they didn't consider her new artist because she was featured on that song with teddy anyway, in 1985, in front of almost a hundred thousand people, two billion viewers and a hundred and fifty countries Teddy made a. Surprise appearance at the Live Aid concert in Philadelphia, his first public showing since the accident.
But in 1986, teddy was involved in his second car accident and was critically injured when he crashed his specially equipped van into a utility pole. He suffered a 4-inch gash to his liver and was also treated for cuts on his legs and feet. And his nurse that was with him in the van suffered facial bruises and a broken thumb. But they both was okay in 1988.
He released the album joy, which peaked at. Number 54 on the Billboard, 200 and number 2 on the R&B chart, his highest placing on the charts since his 1970s, nines number-one album, Teddy, the single joy went to number one on the R&B charts for two weeks. Also, Teddy would go on to produce more albums years later in the 90s and will focus on his charity called a Teddy Undergrads Alliance, a nonprofit organization. He founded in 1998 to 80 people with spinal cord injuries that same year. He also released his autobiography, titled truly blessed in.2002, teddy divorced his wife Karen after 15 years.
And in 2006, he met John Williams, and they got married in 2008. But in 2009, Teddy P was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent successful surgery, but had a difficult recovery. And eight months later on January, 13, 2010, Teddy died of respiratory failure after Teddy's death.
His wife, Joan sue, Teddy, Undergrads kids because Teddy left his entire estate to her. But his son, Teddy, Undergrads, jr. claim that the copier of her will was feet. And he possessed. A real copy of his father's legitimate will. But after taking it to court, the judge ruled that Teddy Undergrads Jr's copy of the will was fate his wife, Joan Undergrads, sued his kids for eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars in legal fees for humiliation. Diminished, reputation, emotional, distress and anxiety. One of other pitchers did acquire the life rights to make a movie on Teddy P's life and Tyree Gibson was supposed to star in the lead role in plate setting, but I don't know, what's going on.
With the movie I ain't heard anything yet so I, guess they guess is still in the making. He was 59 years old, all right, P, Teddy, Undergrads.Time Teddy , Teddy Bear