Friday, June 23, 2017

Teddy Pendergrass – Come Go With Me (Philadelphia International Records)

Classics: Teddy Pendergrass – Come Go With Me (Philadelphia International Records)

I guess I could clearly imagine Barry White saying about this song: “Your sweetness is my weakness”. If not, “Your sexiness is my weakness…” Although chances are great he would never have used this term (and I mean the last) speakin’ of a male singer. But the fact is Teddy has hardly sounded more sexy than on ‘Come Go With Me’. With the same applying to the singer whispering next to him, as a matter of fact, don’t you think?

I Never came to know though who she is as there’s no mention of her name. Therefore, I would tend to figure it’s one his backing singers. In others words, Barbara Ingram, Carla Benson or Evette Benton. Who knows? So if you ever do, feel free to drop us a line. We would really appreciate…

‘Come Go With Me’ is undoubtedly one of the highlights of his 1979 ‘Teddy’ album along with ‘Turn Off The Lights’. Meanwhile, it has obviously inspired Baltimore House production unit The Muthafunkaz and Marc Evans. The latter coming up with the memorable ‘The Way You Love Me’ back in 2006.

You might like both of them, one or another. We, as usual, gladly welcome your reactions…

Overview
Born in Philadelphia, PA, to a religious family, Teddy Pendergrass‘s early singing happened in church. He dreamed of becoming a pastor at the time and eventually got his wish when ordained a minister at the age of 10. He started takin’ on drums during this period, securing his first professional gig with The Cadillacs as a drummer in the late 60’s. Teddy soon after caught up the attention of The Blue Notes‘ founder Harold Melvin who made him an offer to join the band. However, during a performance, Pendergrass began singing. With Melvin, impressed by his raspy baritone voice, makin’ him the lead singer of the group.

Their first single together – ‘I Miss You’ – came to light back in 1972. The success happened to be immediate. Opening an impressive series of hits. From ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’ to ‘The Love I Lost’. Not to mention ‘Wake Up Everybody’ and ‘Don’t Leave Me This Way’ which Thelma Houston turned into a Disco smash hit in 1976. Teddy leavin’ the group due to artistic and financial conflicts that same year…

He embarked on a solo career the year after with the release of his eponymous album. A solid package which features gems such as ‘You Can’t Hide From Yourself’ (only released as a single in Holland). But also ‘I Don’t Love You Anymore’ and ‘The More I Get, The More I Want’.

Its follow-up – ‘Life Is A Song Worth Singing’ – engendered an even bigger following. Spanning classics such as ‘Only You’, ‘Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose’ and ‘Close The Door’. By 1978, Teddy was seen to many as the top male sex symbol in music. His 1979 album, ‘Teddy’ strengthening his position with the mellow ‘Come Go With Me’ and ‘Turn Off The Lights’ in addition to the groovy ‘Do Me’. With the man going further in the downtempo mood on his 1980 ‘TP’ album featuring ‘Love TKO’ and the Ashford & Simpson penned ‘Is It Still Good To You’.

On a sad Mar. 18, 1982, Teddy got involved in a car crash which left him a paraplegic, paralyzed from the chest down.

With his contract with PIR now over, he ended up signing with Elektra Asylum. Releasing his debut-album – ‘Love Language’ – in 1984. An album which saw him duetting with a then unknown Whitney Houston on the mellow ‘Hold Me’. 4 years after, he scored his first #1 single in nearly a decade flirting with the then emerging New Jack Swing on ‘Joy’ from the album of the name.
A final hit would come in 1993 by the likes of the Reggie and Vincent Calloway penned ‘Believe In Love’ which opened his ‘A Little More Magic’ album.

Although on a wheeling chair since his tragic accident, Teddy kept on performing live sporadically until the announce of his retirement in 2006.

Pendergrass underwent successful surgery for colon cancer on June 05, 2009 then returned home to recover. A few weeks later, he got back to the hospital with respiratory issues. He sadly died 7 months after of respiratory failure on Jan. 13, 2010, aged 59…

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10 essential Philadelphia International Records gems…

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