Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Video Ahead: Teddy and Bobby (Not Kennedy)

Our first "One Video Ahead" of 2010 is yet another poignant entry in the series, and remember that the volume varies on these clips and they might not be available forever. That said, you may have heard the news by now: two of the greats of R&B just passed away, and neither one of them should be sent off without some major props for their contributions.

In the realm of Philly soul, Teddy Pendergrass was one of the tops. Sure, the group that made him famous was called Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, and he was not their first lead singer or their last. But his voice, with a little help from Gamble and Huff, propelled the Blue Notes to their greatest heights:

Pendergrass went on to have a successful solo career, but a horrible car accident in 1982 left him paralyzed from the waist down. What always struck me about him was that as he continued to perform post-injury, he still had an obvious love of performing:

If you are interested in learning more, here's a good two-part feature on Teddy and his spinal cord injury from 2007: (Part One) (Part Two)

We've also just lost Robert Charles Guidry, better known as Bobby Charles. Either of his names seems ubiquitous when looking through the history of Louisiana music. A reclusive, somewhat mysterious singer and songwriter, Charles recorded the original version of his composition "See You Later, Alligator," which became a hit when Bill Haley and His Comets covered it in a rock 'n' roll style. Charles went on to write more classics of the early rock 'n' roll era and later worked with luminaries like The Band and Dr. John. Here are some of his greatest hits:

Bobby Charles - "See You Later, Alligator"

Bill Haley - "See You Later, Alligator"

Fats Domino - "Walkin' To New Orleans"

Clarence "Frogman" Henry - "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do"

For more on Bobby Charles, check out this excellent article:

Rock on, Bobby and Teddy. Rock on!

Text copyright © 2010 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. ....and just like that, two of the videos are no longer viewable! Nature of the beast. My point about these guys' talents and legacies still stands.


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