Teddy Pendergrass Documentary Headed to Production; Co-Financed By BBC Films
The life and musical legacy of soul icon Teddy Pendergrass will be explored in a new documentary that is headed to production. The film, titled Pendergrass, is being co-fianced by BBC Films.
According to Variety, the project will detail the life of the late singer who garnered success as the lead singer of Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before embarking on a solo career where he became the first black male singer to record five back-to-back multi-platinum albums.
Sadly, a 1982 car accident left Pendergrass paralyzed at the age of 31. He made a triumphant return to music in 1995 and passed away at the age of 59 in 2010.
Pendergrass will be directed by BAFTA-winner Olivia Lichtenstein for her imprint Storyvault Films. Also on board is BBC Films’ Joe Oppenheimer and Pendergrass’ former manager Shep Gordon.
In an interview on Questlove's Pandora radio program, Questlove Supreme, Gordon recalled Pendergrass being a constant showman who loved the ladies. It was Pendergrass who came up with the idea of a “Ladies Only” tour, which was a profitable tour for the singer. The best part of the shows was him passing out chocolate-covered teddy bear lollipops to the ladies. “He enjoyed it,” said Gordon.
Pendergrass will feature interviews with the late singer's family and friends, as well as fellow soul icons including Stevie Wonder, and rarely seen archival footage.
“Everyone knows his voice, but all too many have forgotten the extraordinary story of the man behind it, his unique contribution to the history of popular music and his courageous triumph over adversity,” said Lichtenstein.
Pendergrass is set to go into production in April.