January 14th, 2010
04:10 PM ET

My first Teddy Pendergrass concert

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Neither of my parents can remember why they took me to a Teddy Pendergrass concert in 1979, but I vividly recall attending.

It could have been because they were unable to find a sitter (though that wouldn’t explain the absence of my younger brother) or maybe I just begged to go. I was nine years old at the time and a huge music fan even then.

I remember sitting in a venue seat at Painter’s Mill just outside of Baltimore, Maryland, trying not to let it fold me in half like a taco. The seat flipped down and my feet weren’t even close to reaching the floor so keeping it balanced was a challenge.

The lights dimmed as the opening notes played to the Pendergrass hit “Turn Off the Lights” and a roar emitted from the audience. Women shrieked “Teddy P!” and “I love you Teddy” as he emerged on the circular stage dressed in a light colored one-piece jumpsuit with gold chains dangling around his neck.

As his deep voice filled the room, fans were up out of their seats swaying and singing along. Couples held each other as Teddy set the vibe for later romance. The stage at Painters Mill rotated and I remember one zealous female fan had to be stopped from running the entire circle just to keep "Teddy P" in her sight at all times.

It never occurred to me to feel oddly out of place at a show with so many adults and couples clearly in love. I just remember rolling my eyes when my dad wrapped his arms around my mom as they danced in the aisle to the songs of Teddy Pendergrass.


soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Dash Diet meal Plan

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    July 13, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fafani

    My problem with Calipari is that he tends to be a "make xseuecs" guy about losses, which often leads to "throw his players under the bus" mentality, like his idol Rick Pitino. I'm not hating, but it's a factor. Totally with you on One Shining Moment, though. Weird caveat. ESPN Classic ran the game last night, and I guess they don't have proprietary rights to the OSM song, so the same exact footage ran with some techno house song. It was surreal.

    March 14, 2012 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Chiyoka

    I'm glad that kid was alright, ohretwise I'd probably have never been allowed to do the kinds of fireworks antics I used to back in the day Aww, who am I kidding the kinds of fireworks antics I STILL pull off! I promise if I ever get hurt, I'll remember to use proper grammar and sentence structure; replete with semicolons!

    March 14, 2012 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Teddy-Osa.

    Well,what more can I say!! I got to know Teddy when just playing throughthe albums of my uncle,who was also a very big fan of Teddy.The first music hit me so hard,then I pause and said to myself,who just is this guy!!!and sinds then,the music has been my national anthem!!Teddy was the man,and he will always be,,,,,,,There is no day that I dont listen to the music of Teddy!! It was pity that Oprah did not invite Teddy to her show..Teddy I will always miss u,rest in piece brother...God loves u best.

    August 24, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sue

    Teddy was a very sexy man in my day. He was the ultimate mood maker. It was the first time that Iheard of women throwing their undergarments on the stage. He was just that exciting. Of course the men took care of the rest.

    His music is still sexy.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pw

    In the 70's we were soothed and seranaded by the voices of the some the sexist men to grace this earth. From Teddy and Marvin to Barry and Jeffrey, we enjoyed the best.

    Just love

    January 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. michael hunt

    teddy Pendergrass was the epitome of what a singer not of soul but from the soul was truly about . Don`t get me wrong he was a masterful soul singer, but you could feel that his music was more from his soul than just your ordinary soul singer. I had the great pleasure of being fortunate enough to see his live performance in 1979 in Saginaw MI. He was a master showman and worked the woman in the crowd with class and a gentlemans style. The young R&B artist of today should be required to take a class in Teddy Pendergrass 101. Teddy was the best at what he did then,now and always. Rest in peace Teddy a life well lived you left us with your musical treasures and we will always remember and love you. Now you can turn out the lights.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ty

    I think I was at that same concert in 1979 at Painters Mills. I was 19 and my sister took me to see him. I really wasn't into him then and wondered why women were screaming. Some of the ladies came in with fur coats, dressed to the nines.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JPhilly

    While I never had the pleasure of a live show with Teddy P, my father played his music constantly on an 8-Track and it was then that I realized what REAL music was. Teddy blessed us with songs of love and passion without being graphic like today's artists, giving all men a reason to respect women. Like my father, he's gone too soon but his legacy will last.

    January 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Franky, Land of Lincoln

    Are you serious? Your parents took you to a concert? In the 70's? Let me tell you something my bicultural friend, you are one of the rare. Let me guess, many of you here in the "blogs" were raised by showing cultural differences, that's why you guys love Entertainment, right? Are you serious? I'm telling you, that's rare in those times, now it isn't but in the 70's? That's quite impressive.

    Is that how all of you are, you guys enjoyed the entertainment aspect and trust me, I can analyze you just like that! Is really that easy.

    But it makes sense now, carry on.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Professor T- Love of A Bowl of Soul on Live365.com

    What can I say, Teddy was the man. From Harold Melvin and the BlueNotes to a solo career, he was definitely the soul man of R&B. The songs he sang were about love, positivity and togetherness. That's is what is missed in music today. He gave life to Gamble & Huff"s songs which were universal in nature. Check out Teddy on the 1st album released by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. Check out Be For Real, I Miss You , Won't You Let Me Into Your World and so on. Philadelphia Int'l Records was definitely on the map.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. rolyat

    What a huge talent and fantastic voice. How sad he had that automobile accident in 1982 which kept him from recording as much, if at in later years. He still had so much to offer to his huge fan base.
    He is now pain free and at peace. But he left behind a beautiful music catelog. His children should be proud.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    Teddy, Barry, and Luther, all gone now but wow, the music they churned out was in the groove alright. People dish "Disco" music and those times, but these guys led the charge, and pumped out the sweetest stuff this side of chocalate. R.I.P.

    January 15, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mack

    I remember first hearing Teddy Pendergrass' distinctive voice when he was with Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes and recall how there was no one that sounded like him. After hearing themeverybody assumed that with such an outstanding voice,he must've been Harold. The thing I remember most is that Teddy had concerts 'For Women Only',and I saw one where Teddy just stood on stage holding the microphone,while this huge audience of all women sang the lyrics to the songs like a professional choir. It was incredible to think a singer could have that kind of power,but he did. And as much as he will be missed,we are all the better for having had his talent in our lives. God Bless Teddy P!

    January 15, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TulsaCityLimitsEms

    As I look back to 1979-'80 I too was a little bewildered on why my parents let me go to a Teddy Pendergrass concert. Teddy was just that a Teddy Bear. So many songs of love and how to romance and treat your lady. I remember as we grooved to the opening act at Tulsa Convention Center, my friend and I were on the center floor of the concert in darkness and the only light was from the stage. I looked over to my left and there was a very tall, dark and handsome man standing there talking to another guy as the music blasted from the opening act. I turned to my friend and said "that looks like Teddy". As we debated back and forth if I should ask, I got the nerve up to ask. "Excuse me, are you Teddy Pendergrass?" In a dark, deep voice he said " No, I'm his twin brother". My friend and I giggled for days. We know he didn't want to cause a ruckus there while watching the opening act. We really enjoyed his concert. I believe that was the first time I can remember youth and parents loving the same music. No B's, no N's, no H's, no destruction, just love and kindness.

    January 15, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  16. Debbie

    Teddy Pendergrass was my idol when I was younger. When he sang you really believed in love and felt he was right in the room with you. He will be missed and my prayers go out to his family. He will not be forgotten and I hope his music is played more in my city.

    January 15, 2010 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  17. Rev. Ronald Wright Director of Justice Seekers Texas

    One Americas greatest R&B singers has went on to glory. As a member of Harold Melvin and the blue notes Teddy was an amazing
    talent , when music and songs were about how to love your lady and treat her and not degrade her and call her Bs and other unexceptable names thanks Teddy for a many of children were born because of your songs.

    January 14, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |

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