Harold Melvin was among the driving forces behind Philadelphia soul, top his group the Blue notes to the top of the charts during their stint on Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff\"s Philadelphia international label. In spite of Melvin\"s billing the end front, the Blue Notes\" focal allude was lead singer and also onetime drummer Teddy Pendergrass, whose surging baritone graced the Blue Notes\" recordings during their glory years of 1972-1975 and also gave lock a truly distinctive sound. Their output ranged indigenous sweeping, prolonged proto-disco run tracks come silky, smoldering ballads, every wrapped increase in Gamble and also Huff\"s lushly orchestrated production. When Pendergrass left because that a solo career, Melvin & the Blue Notes\" advertisement fortunes mostly reverted come the pre-Pendergrass job (of which there were quite a few), although castle did proceed to record for a ... Read full Biography




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Artist Biography

by Steve Huey

Harold Melvin was among the driving pressures behind Philadelphia soul, top his team the Blue notes to the top of the charts during their insignificant on Kenny Gamble and also Leon Huff\"s Philadelphia worldwide label. In spite of Melvin\"s billing the end front, the Blue Notes\" focal allude was command singer and onetime drummer Teddy Pendergrass, whose surging baritone graced the Blue Notes\" recordings during their glory year of 1972-1975 and also gave lock a important distinctive sound. Their calculation ranged from sweeping, prolonged proto-disco dance tracks to silky, smoldering ballads, every wrapped increase in Gamble and Huff\"s lushly orchestrated production. When Pendergrass left because that a solo career, Melvin & the Blue Notes\" commercial fortunes mostly reverted come the pre-Pendergrass job (of which over there were fairly a few), although castle did proceed to document for a time. They never ever really disbanded, and also by the moment Melvin passed away in 1997, he\"d to be leading the Blue Notes for over 4 decades.

Melvin to be born June 25, 1939, in Philadelphia. A self-taught pianist, he began singing doo wop together a teenager through a group called the Charlemagnes, and put together the very an initial edition the the Blue notes in 1954. The initial lineup was a quintet featuring Melvin together the command singer (for a time), songwriter, arranger, and choreographer; ironically, the would greatly relinquish those duties by the moment the group accomplished its best success. The other members to be co-leader boy name Williams, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis, Jr., and Franklin Peaker. The Blue Notes reduced their very first single, \"If friend Love Me,\" for Josie in 1956, and turned it into a regional hit. They videotaped for several various other labels end the next couple of years, dot chief amongst them, prior to scoring their very first R&B chart hit in 1960 with \"My Hero\" (released ~ above Val-Ue). Many personnel shifts maintained the group in flux in spite of steady recording activity, and also Bernard Williams separation off to command what he called the original Blue notes in the mid-\"60s. Melvin assembled a brand-new version that the Blue note centered roughly lead singer john Atkins, who changed the group to the R&B charts in 1965 v the Landa single \"Get out (And let Me Cry).\" additional releases top top Arctic, Checker, and Uni followed over the rest of the \"60s, as well as more personnel changes. During the so late \"60s, the team toured often with the Cadillacs, who young drummer Teddy Pendergrass would prove to it is in Melvin\"s greatest discovery.

Pendergrass first joined the Blue Notes\" backing band, yet demonstrated so much vocal talent that after man Atkins left in 1970, Melvin quickly elevated him to the article of command vocalist. This move helped them land a address Gamble and also Huff\"s Philadelphia global label in 1972, just as the company was taking its location as heart music\"s brand-new epicenter; Pendergrass\" voice was similar to that of Dells singer Marvin Junior, whom gambling & Huff had courted heavily. By this time, the Blue Notes contained Melvin, Pendergrass, bass vocalist Lawrence Brown, baritone vocalist young name Wilson, and tenor vocalist Lloyd Parks. V Gamble & Huff currently supplying top-quality material and also production, Harold Melvin & the Blue notes would become one of the most popular groups in R&B end the next couple of years. Your self-titled debut greatly featured song that had been created in anticipation that landing Marvin Junior. The an initial single, \"I miss You,\" was a struggle on the R&B charts, however their second was a smash -- the standard ballad \"If you Don\"t know Me through Now,\" which featured an anguished, star-making vocal rotate from Pendergrass. \"If friend Don\"t understand Me by Now\" went all the way to number one R&B, and additionally became their only Top 5 hit ~ above the pop side; the was later covered in 1989 for a number one hit by just Red.

The Blue notes scored again in 1973 with the string-laden dance track \"The Love i Lost,\" credited by numerous observers as one of the very first disco records; it was their second R&B chart-topper and also Top Ten pop single. The accompanying album, black color & Blue, produced one more R&B peak Ten in the follow-up \"Satisfaction guaranteed (Or Take your Love Back).\" In 1974, Lloyd Parks was replaced by Jerry Cummings, who debuted on the R&B chart-topping LP To be True. \"Where room All mine Friends\" and also \"Bad Luck\" ongoing their cable of peak Ten R&B hits, and a new addition come the group, woman vocalist Sharon Paige, helped bring them earlier to the height of the R&B charts in 1975 v the duet \"Hope that We have the right to Be with each other Soon.\" an additional excellent album adhered to later the year in wake Up Everybody, who title track was one more R&B number one; \"Tell the civilization How i Feel around \"Cha Baby\" also reached the R&B peak Ten, and the album reduced \"Don\"t leaving Me This Way\" was later covered for a disco smash by Thelma Houston.

However, stress and anxiety was structure within the group. The heavily spotlighted Pendergrass was hungry for different billing, but Melvin, tho the group\"s chief organizing force, turned him down. In 1976, Pendergrass left the Blue Notes for a solo job that quickly made him one of R&B\"s peak sex symbols. Sharon Paige assisted fill his shoes on lead vocals, as well as new male lead David Ebo, who sound was reasonably similar come Pendergrass\". However, Pendergrass\" departure likewise signaled the end of the Blue Notes\" partnership with Philadelphia worldwide -- their following recordings were because that ABC, because that whom they fight the R&B height Ten in 1977 through the title monitor of getting to for the World. It would certainly prove come be your last significant success, however; after one much more album because that ABC, they moved to MCA subsidiary resource in 1979 for two LPs the failed come reignite your commercial momentum. Cummings and also Wilson had actually both departed in 1977, replaced by Dwight Johnson and also William Spratelly, and also Paige and also Ebo both left in 1980. Still, Melvin soldiered on, helming one critical album of brand-new material because that Philly human being in 1984\"s hopefully titled speak It increase (Tell Everybody). It was mildly renowned in the U.K., but not sufficient to re-establish them. Melvin continued to tour with versions that the Blue notes steadily into the \"90s, and also Paige at some point returned come the fold together well.

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Sadly, Melvin suffered a stroke and also never fully recovered; the passed far on march 24, 1997, in his lovely hometown of Philadelphia.