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Teddy Pendergrass Dead; “Legendary Prince of R&B”

Singer Teddy Pendergrass has died at the young age of 59. He’d had a rugged eight months recovering from colon cancer surgery, according to his son.

The “legendary prince of R&B” had also been partially paralyzed since he crashed his car (a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit!) near Philadelphia on 18 March 1982. He was wheelchair bound, with limited use of his hands. But he could still sing.

Pendergrass was born in Philadelphia on 26 March 1950.  Here (not that I’m a Pendergrass scholar) are some things I didn’t know about him:

– He started his career as a drummer.

– He sang the original version of “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” the song later made a rather lugubrious hit by the group “Simply Red.”

– He didn’t sing the single “Dance With My Father Again.”  That was Luther Vandross.

– He had a love affair with Marvin Gaye‘s wife

– He published an autobiography in 1998 titled “Truly Blessed.”

– His tune “Close the Door” had romantic undertones.

Here are two versions of “Close the Door,” pre- and post-crash. Good luck to you, Mr. Pendergrass, wherever you may be.

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