Thursday, April 21, 2016

Throwback Bands with front men who went on to greater success than their groups – Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes & The Commodores

The Philly group, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes always had a smooth, silky way. With the addition of Teddy Pendergrass, its sound became distinctive. The group was one of several of the era whose members dressed in identical, finely-tailored suits and followed sharp choreography. Like all famous groups, in-fighting was no stranger either. Egos, tempers flared. T. P. was a standout. He was not a stay-in-the-background sort of singer. He had the chops and charisma to go solo. And he did. The group survived and Teddy flourished as a solo act. Since the parting of ways, Harold Melvin has passed but the group still performs in some incarnation today. Teddy suffered paralysis after a car crash along Philly’s West River Drive in the 80s. It, more or less, ended his rising career, but he still performed from time to time. After a life full of success, drama, pain, and redemption, Teddy died at the age of 59 in 2010. My absolutely favorite T. P. song, the one which makes me turn the radio up and screech along is a bouncy, breezy, up-tempo break up song, where he reads his ex like a book. Yes, I Don’t Love You Anymore is one of the greatest eff-you songs ever.

Some Harold Melvin music
 If You Don't Know Me by Now, The Love I Lost, Wake Up Everybody, I Miss You, Where Are All My Friends

If You Don't Know Me by Now -

Some Teddy Pendergrass hits
 Turn Off the Lights, Close the Door, Life Is a Song Worth Singing, Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose

I Don't Love You Anymore -


The Commodores, that Southern soul/funk group born of Tuskeegee college freshmen friends’ jam sessions was late 70s-early 80s gold. Skyler Jett, Walter Orange then Lionel Richie were all front men but Richie broke out and went on to greater fame. The two forces together ruled the music charts way into the 80s. Funk, ballads, dance tunes. You name it. They did it. Of course, egos were not left at the door and to this day, bad, though not as vocal, blood still exists. Oh well, I still love Brick House and Zoom.

Some Commodores hits
 Zoom; Sail On; Lady, You Bring Me Up; Too Hot Ta Trot


(Jheri Curl and a mullet?)
Some Lionel Richie hits
All Night Long; Stuck On You; Say You, Say Me; Dancing On the Ceiling; Hello; Running with the Night

All Night Long

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