the musings, music & projects of Dj A-Ski..

Unique74 Remembers…Willie Mitchell and Teddy Pendergrass

Willie Mitchell, producer extraordinaire was the vanguard of “The Memphis Sound” and recorded countless classics with Al Green, Syl Johnson, OV Wright, Ann Peebles, Detroit Emeralds, etc. He kept the gritty sound of Memphis Soul alive and was last of the old school producers of his era (next to Booker T Jones, Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn). I later learned he used an 8 track board to record many of those classics sessions such as “Love and Happiness” and “I Cant Stand The Rain”. Rest well Sir Willie!


Like a thief in the night, TP always set the mood for any night while reminding us to “Wake Up Everybody”. North Philly’s own Theodore Pendergrass was the last of the gruff style, pro masculine baritone singers (Ie David Ruffin, Marvin Junior of The Dells, Wee Gee of The Dramatics) who broke the mold with his aggressive style. His signature style not only made waves in the Soul market, he also conquered the Pop market without compromise. As a kid, I remember Teddy was so popular that he had his own line of “Teddy Jeans” and teddy bears (hence his nickname “Teddy Bear”). His dominant urge in emotion was felt on every track and still stands the test of time, beyond a class act. Rest well Sir Teddy.

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