Teddy Pendergrass has passed away. Back in the '70s, when I was lucky enough to have a job that included covering the Hampton (Va.) Jazz Festival, I saw him perform one night. Tall, gleaming, shirtless, roaring, he had the ladies loving him -- they were lined up to approach the stage, bringing flowers to Teddy. At least, that's how it stays in memory. I don't remember much about how he sang that night -- or if he stood out much in what was always a lineup of big names -- but I remember the image. And later, I fell into his music. "Choose Me," from the movie of the same name and on the LP above (as "You're My Choice Tonight"), is one of my alltime favorite smooth-love songs, and one he recorded after the 1982 accident that curtailed his career. And I have a bunch of his work with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in my iPod; still marvel at those long, bending and turning, whisper-to-a-scream, harmonizing epics they could do. I'll keep listening.
My review ofthe movie of "The Lovely Bones" is here. One of my crankier reviews, probably because I read the book so recently and it affected me so much. Any movie would have had a difficult time measuring up, but this movie is so far removed from the book's vision, it annoyed me.
Today's mailbag -- Randy Newman, "Beach Music," other topics -- is here.