Mayor Nutter Remembers Teddy Pendergrass

Mayor Nutter -- who used the song "Wake Up Everybody" as a campaign anthem in 2007 -- today recalled the late Philadelphia R&B singer Teddy Pendergrass.

"He had a meteoric rise during the 70s like virtually no one else and clearly was a superstar for Philadelphia International," said Nutter, who was loading a Pendergrass album on to his City Hall computer this morning.

Pendergrass died last night at Bryn Mawr Hospital. A star of Philadelphia International Records, he sang with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before going solo. In 1982, Pendergrass was injured in a car accident on Lincoln Drive and left paralyzed from the waist down.

"I met Teddy Pendergrass in 1983 with (the late) Councilman John Anderson," Nutter said. "They were friends and we went out to his house."

Nutter said he was still moved by the lyrics of "Wake Up Everybody," which Pendergrass recorded in 1975. The song is about working hard to improve the world.

"That song has as much message and truth today as the day it came out," Nutter said. "There's a message in the music. It was not just for an African American audience."