'Gallo signs Teddy'

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

In a major coup, Gallo Records has bagged internationally acclaimed veteran soul singer Teddy Pendergrass.

Reliable sources told Sowetan yesterday that Gallo had pulled out all the stops to lure the veteran musician to the stable.

"Teddy is coming to South Africa next month to sign on the dotted line and he is expected to perform in Johannesburg.

"Everything has been confirmed. The company is very excited about this achievement," said the source.

When Melvin Khumalo of Gallo was contacted yesterday he could neither confirm nor deny the rumours.

"I am afraid there is nothing I know," he said.

Pendergrass, who became famous in the 1970s and 1980s, has a huge following the world over. Born in 1950 in Philadelphia, the singer's career began as a drummer for The Cadillacs.

He launched a solo career and released hit singles such as The More I Get the More I Want, Close The Door, I Don't Love You Anymore, Turn Off The Lights, among others.

Pendergrass was the first African-American singer to sell five platinum albums in a row. His first solo album was self-titled Teddy Pendergrass in 1977, followed by Life Is a Song Worth Singing in 1978. He also released Live Coast to Coast and This One's For You.

Two years ago, he announced on radio that he was retiring from the music business, but he reversed his decision last May.