Saturday, January 23, 2010

"If You Don't Know Me By Now"

Teddy Pendergrass died this week.  He'd been seriously injured in an auto accident years ago but passed away from colon cancer.  Enough of that.

Ah, the memories.

My hometown's AM station, WBAF "The Mighty 1090", played some great stuff in the afternoon when I was a teenager.  Wimbley Waters owned the station, but Danny Johnson spun the vinyl.  WBAF was a stone's throw from our house, and I used to do voice-over ads there, mainly for Daddy's service station ("...that Roscoe's gone crazy...I can't believe what he's doing this week...if [insert product here] was any cheaper we'd have to pay you to take it home...").  But I digress.

Danny played the hits but couldn't pronounce hardly anything else.  He did the news:  "...the Vietmanese...hit a tefelone pole...".  You get the picture.  But again, he played some great stuff. 

Harold Melvin and The Bluenotes ("If You Don't Know Me By Now", "The Love I Lost"), The Chi-Lites ("Have You Seen Her?", "Oh Girl"), The O'Jays ("Backstabber", "Love Train"), The Spinners ("I'll Be Around", "Could It Be [I'm Falling In Love]?") among others.

And the standards:  The Temptations ("My Girl", "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and fourteen Number Ones) , The Swinging Medallions ("Double Shot of My Baby's Love"), and The Four Tops ("Baby I Need Your Lovin'", "I Can't Help Myself [Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch]") among others.

They're all either old, dying, or dead.  But their music lives on.  And takes me back to a time when, like that Toby Keith song, "I Wish I Didn't Know Then What I Didn't Know Now".

If only.

1 comment:

Michael Ruffin said...

Oh, and the thing that was the most fun to hear him try to pronounce was "Khmer Rouge."