TEDDY PENDERGRASS’ BIOGRAPHY
Theodore “Teddy” Pendergrass began singing gospel music in Philadelphia churches. He became an ordained minister at the of age ten. When he was only 6 years old, Teddy was invited to sing in the highly prestigious citywide McIntyre Elementary School Choir and in the All-City Stetson Junior High School Choir. A self-taught drummer, Pendergrass had a teen pop vocal group by age 15.
Pendergrass’ musical career really took off after he became the drummer for The Cadillacs, a local singing group. In the late ’60s, The Cadillacs merged with the more-established group, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. In 1970, the “Blue Notes” broke up and Harold Melvin, now aware of Pendergrass’ vocal prowess, asked Teddy to take the lead singer position. Once Pendergrass’ distinct vocals were heard by the dynamic production team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff, they eagerly signed the group to Philadelphia International Records. A new era of music had begun.