Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
About Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes
Fronted by the charismatic Teddy Pendergrass during their peak years, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes helped to define the lush and soulful “Philly Sound” of the ’70s.
• Melvin formed the group as a Philly doo-wop outfit called The Charlemagnes in the mid-’50s. They soon changed their name to Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and in 1956, they released their debut single, “If You Love Me.”
• In 1965, they scored a minor R&B hit with “Get Out (And Let Me Cry).”
• Teddy Pendergrass joined in 1970, rounding out a lineup that also included Melvin, Lloyd Parkes, Lawrence Brown, and Bernard Wilson. The quintet signed with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International label in 1972.
• The group struck gold with 1972’s “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” an R&B chart-topper that reached No. 3 on pop. The song earned a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group, or Chorus.
• Featuring disco drums and strings, 1973s “The Love I Lost” gave the group another No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B chart. The single peaked at No. 7 on the pop charts.
• The Blue Notes notched two more No. 1 R&B hits before Melvin left for a solo career in 1977: “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon” and “Wake Up Everybody.” The latter appears on 1975’s platinum-selling Wake Up Everybody.
• Following Pendergrass’ departure, the group’s remaining members—fronted by Sharon Paige and David Ebo—returned with 1977’s Reaching for the World. The LP spawned a pair of Top 20 R&B hits.
• The Blue Notes issued their final album, Talk It Up (Tell Everybody), and continued to tour until 1997, when 57-year-old Melvin died from stroke complications.