I paused for more than a moment last Wednesday (January 13) when I read a text message that said Teddy Pendergrass had passed.
The message came from Erica in South Carolina who lives close to Kingstree where Pendergrass was born in 1952.
TP or just Teddy as he was popularly known defined the love and lust of my generation. His baritone voice grabbed deep and held onto emotions very few artists can conjure with such heartfelt meaning.
In a cupboard somewhere in my mom's house sits my pristine collection of his vinyl LPs from the 80s.
Each LP reminds me of something and someone. One in particular was a gift from someone who will forever remain an "inspiration" to me. (See this beautiful version too).
Most folks probably remember this cut above when Teddy was with Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes.
I never got to see Teddy live. Wish I had.
Still, he said "Life is a song worth singing" and I believe that in his short 59 years many a life started to sing and many more will do so as his music lives down here forever.
The song immediately below has special meaning to me. It was one of the last cuts Natasha, my sister, had cued up to listen to before she passed 15 years ago.
"This One's For You" ... both of you!
This final cut is one of my absolute favorites. Philosophical in a plain sort of way it tells of a journey before it has ended.
Written by Michael Masser and Cynthia Weil it appeared on TP's 1984 LP entitled "Love Language" and is simply entitled "In My Time".