The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia: “When Somebody Loves You Back” by Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass’ 1978 album Life Is A Song Worth Singing

Every day leading up to Valentine’s Day this year, The Key is recapping 14 songs that scream “love” just as strongly as they scream “Philly.” The Essential Love Songs of Philadelphia continues with “When Somebody Loves You Back” from Teddy Pendergrass’ 1978 album .

There’s an amazing scene (one of many) in the extraordinary new Showtime documentary, Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me, a look at the Philly R&B superstar who sang lead on so many classic Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes songs, and who then went to an incredible solo career. In the clip, Pendergrass appears on television talk show host Tom Snyder, who introduces him by saying “May I just list four songs? ‘Come Go With Me,’ ‘Close The Door,’ ‘Turn Off The Lights,’ ‘Do Me.’” After a quick pause, both laugh, and as Pendergrass extends his arm for a handshake, Snyder aks “Have I got it?” Pendergrass, lighting up with a big smile says, “You got it.” Continue reading →


Watch a trailer for Showtime’s Teddy Pendergrass documentary If You Don’t Know Me

Teddy Pendergrass | via Rolling Stone

On the one hand, Philadelphia icon Teddy Pendergrass was, as XPN’s Bruce Warren described him earlier today, “Philly International’s ultimate love man.” His sensual singing style was unparalleled, and his songs touched on themes of love from every imaginable angle. On a bigger level, he was a hard-working, ambitious, and energetic recording artist and performer who literally sweated charisma…and he’s also somebody with one of the most amazing life stories of resilience and overcoming physical trauma to continue creating music. Continue reading →


Watch Philly rapper Citizen Xavier flow over a Teddy Pendergrass hook in “Left + Right”

From the opening beat, this new video from Philly Rapper Citizen Xavier hooks you in. The music in “Left + Right” strikes a smooth tone not unlike late 80s / early 90s faves Erik B & Rakim and The Pharcyde, and then rides it as the video gives a tour of the sights of Philadelphia – from backyard barbeques and graffiti-covered school buildings to the Art Museum steps. You can probably attribute some of that smoothness to the prominent sample of Teddy Pendergrass’ “Come Go With Me.” Compare Xavier’s song with its source material in the videos below, and download a free mp3 of “Left + Right” here.


Philly Phlashback: Philly bands on Soul Train

Time-Life’s recently released The Best Of Soul Train three-disc DVD set is filled with some classic booty-shaking performances, including a few that became exemplary of “TSOP (The Sound Of Philadelphia)”. Check out Teddy Pendergrass’s sideburns and The Blue Notes’ costumes—but mostly just groove to these incredible songs that still remain fresh.