Saturday, July 2, 2016

I've Got the Power: Teddy Pendergrass and "The Power of One"

Teddy Pendergrass performs our random song for today from the soundtrack to The Power of One, a coming of age movie set in apartheid South Africa based on the novel by Bryce Courtenay. Teddy Pendergrass was a singer, songwriter and composer. After growing up in Philadelphia, where he lost his father to a murder as a young boy and where he became a minister at age 10, Pendergrass rose to fame in the early 70s as the lead singer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. He went solo in 1977 and had multiple hits in both the disco and R&B category on his debut album. As his fame grew, especially among women, he pioneered the "women-only concerts" concept. He was informally titled The Black Elvis and his popularity briefly eclipsed Barry White and Marvin Gaye. A car accident in 1982 left him paralyzed from the chest down, but he made a triumphant and emotional return to music in 1985. He died in 2010 of respiratory failure after having complications from a surgery for colon cancer. You can find this song, The Power of One, on the soundtrack for the movie released in 1992.