Teddy Pendergrass

Like Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Otis Redding and Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass was among the greatest male soul singers of the 20th century. We first noticed Teddy's talent while we were rehearsing Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. One day in the early 1970s, Teddy, the group's drummer, was asked to sing, and this great, powerful voice came out of this tall, thin guy. He had one of the most flexible voices we had ever heard.

Despite the group's string of successes, we made the easy choice to launch Teddy's solo career. With hits like "Close the Door," "Turn Off the...

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