R&B: Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes

Group members:

Harold Melvin, Teddy Pendergrass , Bernard Wilson, David Ebo, Dwight Johnson, Jerry Cummings, Lawrence Brown, Lloyd Parks, William Spratley, Don Haney, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis Jr., Franklin Peaker, John Atkins,
Jerry Cummings,Sharon Paige, Gil Saunders,& Robert Cook


Founded in Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the 1950s as the Charlemagnes.1954, with a lineup consisting of lead singer Franklin Peaker, Bernard Williams, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis, Jr., and Harold Melvin. However Bernard Williams left the group to form another group called “the original blue notes”& the new lead singer became John Atkins. Teddy Pendergrass joined the group in 1970 as a drummer. Eventually John Atkins quit and teddy took over as lead singer.
In 1972 Jerry Cummings replaced Lloyd parks and Sharon Paige was added to the group as well. Teddy Pendergrass quit in 1976 due to money disputes and gained notoriety once he started his solo career. He had 4 consecutive million-selling albums with Philadelphia International between 1977 and 1980. 

1970s Onward:

After Teddy Pendergrass left, David Ebo was his replacement. They left Philadelphia international and signed with ABC records in 1977. The group consisted of: Harold Melvin, Jerry Cummings, Dwight Johnson, David Ebo, and William Spratley. They released the Blue album in 1980 and their final album together: All Things Happen in time in 1982. David Ebo was replaced by Gil Saunders in 1982 and they went to the UK and had success. Gil Saunders re-recorded songs that had Teddy Pendergrass as lead. Eventually he left in 1992 and Harold Melvin continued to tour and add replacements until he had a stroke in 1996.


David Ebo died from bone cancer in 1993. Harold Melvin died in 1997 due to complications from the stroke. John Atkins died of an aneurysm in 1998. Lawrence brown died of a respiratory condition in 2008. Teddy Pendergrass died in 2010 of respiratory failure after battling colon cancer. Roosevelt Brodie died in 2010 due to complications from diabetes. Bernard Wilson died from a heart attack in 2010. Lloyd Parks and Bobby Cook are the only surviving members.

Album Releases

I Miss You released in 1972 and charted #4 in the U.S R&B charts. Black and Blue 1973 charted at #5. To Be True was released in 1975 and charted #1 on the U.S. R&B charts and went Gold. Wake Up Everybody also released 1975 and went #1 and was certified platinum. Reaching for the World released in 1977 and charted as #15. Now is the Time charted as #50 on the U.S. R&B charts 1977. The Blue album was released in 1980 and charted as #15. All Things Happen in Time was released in 1981 charted as #47 and final album in 1984 Talk It Up didn’t chart.


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