Monday, September 30, 2013

Robbed hit of the week 9/30/13 - Teddy Pendergrass & Whitney Houston's "Hold Me"...

Teddy Pendergrass with Whitney Houston - "Hold Me"
from the albums Love Language (1984) and Whitney Houston (1985)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46

This week's "robbed hit" is by soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, who started his career as the drummer for the doo-wop group the Cadillacs, before joining up with Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, where as lead singer he topped the R&B chart four times, including two top-10 pop hits with "If You Don't Know Me By Now" and "The Love I Lost".

Teddy left the Blue Notes in 1977, and that same year scored his first top-10 solo R&B and dance hit "I Don't Love You Anymore". That single peaked at the most frustrating of ranks, #41, but by the following year he placed his first top-40 pop hit with hit first chart-topping R&B single, "Close The Door". After that came six more top-10 R&B singles by the time 1984 rolled around. But in that time, Teddy became a paraplegic from a car accident, and since then he was wheelchair-bound.

In 1984 Pendergrass released his ninth album, Love Language. The first single released from the set featured a then-unkown singer named Whitney Houston, whose mother Cissy also sang on the album. The record, a ballad written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed entitled "Hold Me", was able to revive Teddy's career after a couple of relatively less successful albums...

"Hold Me" became Teddy's first top-10 R&B single since his accident, reaching #5 on the chart, while also going top-10 on the adult-contemporary format as well. But despite spending an amazing 18 weeks on the pop chart, the single stalled out at #46. It did the same across the ocean, stopping at #44 in the UK.  However it did provide a great springboard for Whitney's debut album the following year (which this song appeared on), and there was no looking back for her.

As for Teddy, he went to the R&B top-ten four more times, and hit #1 in 1988 with "Joy" (his final dance hit at #42) and again in 1991 with "It Should Have Been You". The year before the latter, he had his last top-40 adult contemporary hit with his remake of Bread's "Make It With You". "Don't Waste My Time" became his last Hot 100 appearance (#90) and top-40 R&B hit (#39) in 1997, and it's followup "Give It To Me" was his last ink on the soul chart that same year, reaching #57.

In 2010, sadly, Teddy passed away from respiratory failure, but his legacy of a classic soul singer will continue.

(Click below to read the rest of the post)

"Hold Me" was initially recorded by Diana Ross on her album Silk Electric as "In Your Arms"...

Up next week: New Jersey boy was unrecognizable then.

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