Who was the lead singer of Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes?

Most people assumed it was Harold Melvin but, of course, it was Teddy Pendergrass, arguably greatest soul singer of all time. Teddy was also tragically unlucky. Harold Melvin was a horrible, conniving narcissist who’d had little success with The Bluenotes. Once Teddy joined, and it was apparent that they were going to be huge, Harold insisted that his own name took top billing. Their success was instant but Harold always denied Teddy the credit – and the money – he was due. This was their biggest hit but Teddy was again unlucky. Thelma Houston’s inferior cover version also charted and prevented the original from getting to No.1. Then once Teddy went solo, a horrific car accident left him a quadriplegic. But that’s not the end of the story. Far from it. Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Me, my friend Olivia Lichtenstein’s superb documentary, is released today. Just make sure you see it.