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Posts Tagged ‘Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’

Died On This Date (April 13, 2013) Vincent Montana Jr. / Founder Of The Salsoul Orchestra; Member OF MFSB

Posted by themusicsover on April 13, 2013

Vincent Montana Jr.
February 12, 1928 – April 13, 2013

vincent-montana-jrVincent Montana was an American percussionist and band leader who is best remembered as the founder of popular ’70s disco group, the Salsoul Orchestra.  He was also a member of another disco standout band, MFSB.  Both groups, which counted members of each within their folds, released some of the era’s most recognized hits.  MFSB was assembled as the house band for Philadephia’s legendary Sigma Sounds Studios affording Montana the opportunity to play on hits by the O’Jays, the Stylistics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and many more.  With Salsoul Orchestra, he recorded such disco hits as “Tangerine,” “Salsoul Hustle,” and “Nice ‘N’ Naasty.”  The vast list of others that Montana either played with or produced includes Frankie Avalon , Dusty Springfield, the Delfonics, Johnny Mathis, the Jackson 5, La Belle,  and more recently, the Pet Shop Boys.  Vincent Montana was 85 when he passed away on April 13, 2013.

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Died On This Date (December 26, 2010) Bernie Wilson / Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

Posted by themusicsover on December 26, 2010

Bernie Wilson
DOB Unknown – December 26, 2010

Bernie Wilson was a member of the great R&B singing group, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes for many years, including those that gave us such soul staples as “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Bad Luck,” and “The Love I Lost.”  It was the Blue Notes that helped define a popular style of R&B known as The Sound Of Philadelphia or Philly Soul, which soon begat disco and later, smooth jazz and quiet storm.  Other notables of the genre are/were The O’Jays, The Spinners, and McFadden & Whitehead.  After signing their first record deal in 1972, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes enjoyed several years of hits, television appearances, and sold-out concerts thanks in part to the instantly recognizable hefty lead vocals of Teddy Pendergrass.  But when Pendergrass left for a solo career in 1976, the group’s reign at the top of the heap came to an end.  They DID enjoy a handful of hits throughout the rest of the ’70s and continued performing in one form or another through the ’90s – the later years were without Melvin, who passed away in 1997.  It was Wilson who was a constant throughout the group’s various incarnations.  Bernie Wilson was 64 when he died of undisclosed illness on December 26, 2010.

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The Essential Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes - Bernard Wilson, Harold Melvin, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Jerry  Cummings, Jerry Cummings, Laurence  Brown, Laurence Brown, Lloyd  Parks, Lloyd Parks, Theodore  Pendergrass & Theodore Pendergrass, Jr.

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Died On This Date (April 15, 2010) George Melvin / Respected Jazz Keyboardist

Posted by themusicsover on April 15, 2010

George Melvin
May 24, 1947 – April 15, 2010

Photo by Jen Fariello

George Melvin was a gifted jazz and R&B keyboardist who, over the course of his career, graced recordings by the likes of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Ray Charles, Miles Davis and the Moments to name a few.  Melvin launched his career while still in his late teens, mainly focusing on the Hammond B-3 organ, thanks to the tutelage of the great Richard “Groove” Holmes.  In later years, Melvin was a constant fixture of the Charlottesville, Virginia music scene.  George Melvin died from complications of diabetes on April 15, 2010.  He was 63.



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Died On This Date (March 24, 1997) Harold Melvin / Philly Soul Great

Posted by themusicsover on March 24, 2010

Harold Melvin
June 25, 1935 – March 24, 1997

harold-melvinHarold Melvin was one of the architects of the so-called Philadelphia Sound as leader of Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. The band had several chart toppers for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International label. It was singer Teddy Pendergrass’ full-throated baritone that gave the Blue Notes the edge over other soul groups of the day. The hits started coming in 1972 with R&B staples like “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “The Love I Lost,” and “Bad Luck.” Melvin passed away on March 24, 1997 from the results of an earlier stroke from which he never fully recovered.

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The Essential Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes - Bernard Wilson, Harold Melvin, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, Jerry Cummings, Jerry Cummings, Laurence Brown, Laurence Brown, Lloyd Parks, Lloyd Parks, Theodore Pendergrass & Theodore Pendergrass, Jr.

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Died On This Date (January 13, 2010) Teddy Pendergrass / Soul Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on January 13, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass
March 26, 1950 – January 13, 2010

Teddy Pendergrass was a multi-platinum selling soul singer who first came to prominence as the lead singer for Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes during the early ’70s.  As part of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s storied Philadelphia International label, the Blue Notes scored hits with songs like “The Love I Lost,” “Bad Luck (Part 1),” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” which sold in excess of two million copies.  They have been called the most covered Philly soul group in history.  During the mid ’70s, Pendergrass left the group to launch a solo career that found him staying relevant during the dawning age of disco while still maintaining his soulful roots.   “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” “Close The Door,” and “Do Me” were just a few of his fans’ favorites.  Pendergrass was also a very popular concert draw.  As a true sex symbol, he occasionally hosted “Ladies Only” shows which generally ended with the audience flinging their panties or stuffed teddy bears to the stage.  Tragedy struck in 1982 when the brakes in his car failed causing him to crash into a tree.  The accident left him paralyzed from the waist down and with minimal use of his arms and hands.  After three intense years of seclusion and physical therapy, Pendergrass emerged as a surprise guest with Ashford & Simpson at 1985’s Live Aid concert in Philadelphia.  The song, “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” was an emotional moment and one of the highlights of the festival (video below).  Pendergrass soon mounted a comeback that included the hit albums, Workin’ It Back and Joy.  Pendergrass retired from the music business in 2006.  During the spring of 2009, he underwent surgery for colon cancer and apparently never fully recovered.  Teddy Pendergrass died on January 13, 2010 at the age of 59.

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The Essential Teddy Pendergrass - Teddy Pendergrass

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