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March 26,1950 - January 13, 2010

Faces of Teddy
Faces of Teddy
Patti LaBelle, Teddy, Monique'
Patti LaBelle, Teddy, Monique'
Teddy
Teddy

All About Teddy

Born Theodore DeReese Pendergrass, to Geraldine Epps and Jesse Pendergrass on March 26, 1950 in Philadelphia, Pa.

His mother discovered he had talented vocal chords at the age of 2 singing in church. By the time he was 6, Teddy was chosen to sing with the All-City Elementary School Boys Choir. At age 13, he had an interest in drums and could play any rhythm he chose to.

He use to watch Chubby preform

In 1968 Little Royal's drummer - Marvin Jolly left the band . Teddy auditioned for the spot and was immediately hired. Later he landed a gig with Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes. The group broke up several times and in 1970 Teddy became their lead vocalist. Harold Melvin signed a record deal with Philadelphia International records and released their first single, "I Miss You". Then in 1972, their first album "If you Don't Know Me By Now".

Teddy started his solo career in 1976 as he left the group in October of 1975. He was dynamite right from the start! Teddy was the very first Black male singer in music history to record five consective multi-platinum albums: Teddy Pendergrass, Life is a Song Worth Singing, Teddy-Teddy Live! and TP.

Little Royal

A Tragic Accident

In 1982, Teddy was in a car accident that left him paralyzed with no use of his legs and very little use of his arms. the rest of his life would be bound to a wheelchair. The brakes of his Rolls-Royce failed and the car hit a metal guard rail and the car crossed into ongoing traffic and hit a tree. Teddy's neck was broken and his spinal cord crushed. He lay unconscious for eight days.

In the after math, the doctors predicted that he would live for ten years after such a tramatic accident. They also said he may not be able to sing again! Teddy proved them all wrong by exceeding what the doctors perdicted.

With Ashford and Simpson

 July 13, 1985 file photo singers from left, Valerie Simpson, Teddy Pendergrass and Nicholas Ashford perform at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia Pa. during the Live Aid famine relief concert.
July 13, 1985 file photo singers from left, Valerie Simpson, Teddy Pendergrass and Nicholas Ashford perform at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia Pa. during the Live Aid famine relief concert.

With Dick Clark January 25, 1986

Teddy and Karen

In June 1987, Teddy married Karen Still. His children: Theodore Jr., Tamon, Tisha Lazette and La Donna

Teddy returned to his singing career a year later after his accident. In 1997 the entire "Joy" album that was recorded in 1988 was nominated for Grammys. His concerts were sold out!

Teddy Pendergrass Day

Mayor John F. Street declared October 12th to commemorate the first full length performance by Teddy in over 2 decades!

The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance

Teddy founded the TPA (Teddy Pendergrass Alliance). It is a national organization that helps individuals to cope and deal with spinal cord injury. Resources of government, universities and private sector industry are available for those who seek education, help, training and employment.

Teddy Pendergrass died at age 59. He had been battling colon cancer and had surgery months ago . His death occured on January 13, 2010.

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Comments 2 comments

Kevin Schofield 5 years ago

Hi Bodylevive. A great biography, and a wonderful tribute and homage to a great singer. I remember "If you Don't Know Me By Now" with lots of sentiment because it coincided with my meeting a lovely girl in 1972. Reading your hub brought it all back. Thanks for the memory! Kindest regards, Kev.


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bodylevive 5 years ago from Loachapoka, Alabama Author

Thank you Kevin, I glad this hub gave you sentiment. Teddy was another of my favorites. He stirred the love in many as well as myself.

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