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6 Voices From Philly’s Musical Legacy

September 23, 2010 6:56 PM

(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Philadelphia’s contribution to the musical realms of rhythm and blues, glam metal and punk rock date back decades yet continue to make new history today. Here’s a look at six groundbreaking pioneers who got their start in gigs across Philly.

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Teddy Pendergrass

Theodore “Teddy” DeReese Pendergrass, Sr. (born March 26, 1950, in Philadelphia; died Jan. 13, 2010) was an American Grammy nominated R&B soul singer-songwriter. Pendergrass’ career began when he was a drummer for The Cadillacs, who soon merged with fellow soul band Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. After a stellar early 70s run including the Grammy-nominated hit If You Don’t Know Me By Now, Teddy went solo in 1976. He released a total of fifteen solo studio albums including hits like Love T.K.O. A car accident in 1982 damaged his spinal cord and left him paralyzed from the waist down with limited use of his arms.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/Teddy+Pendergrass on Last.fm.

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(credit: Torben Christensen/AFP/Getty Images)


Alecia Beth Moore (born Sept. 8, 1979 in Doylestown, Penn.), better known by her stage name Pink (often stylized as P!nk), is an American singer-songwriter who gained prominence in early 2000. She has so far sold over 10 million albums in the United States, and over 32 million worldwide, and has won two Grammy awards. Pink began her career as an R&B artist, signed to the predominately urban label, LaFace Records.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/P!nk on Last.fm.

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Patti LaBelle

Patti LaBelle (born Patricia Louise Holt on May 24, 1944, in Philadelphia) is a hugely revered R&B/Pop/Soul singer-songwriter and occasional actress. Patti has fronted two moderately successful groups before rising to stardom as a solo artist in the late 1970s, influencing a new generation of female singers. She is best known for her strong vocals and her signature high-octave vocal belting.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/Patti+LaBelle on Last.fm.

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A glam metal band most known during the 1980s, Cinderella was formed in Philadelphia in 1982 by vocalist Tom Keifer and bassist Eric Brittingham. During their debut Night Songs tour, Cinderella were exposed to a very large audience opening for Bon Jovi. Cinderella’s second album, Long Cold Winter, was released in 1988. The 254-show tour to support it lasted over 14 months and included dates on the Moscow Music Peace Festival along side other glam metal heavyweights such as Ozzy Osbourne, The Scorpions, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and Skid Row. A highlight of the tour’s stage show featured Keifer being lowered to the stage while playing a white piano during their radio hit Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/Cinderella on Last.fm.

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(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Joan Jett

Joan Jett, born Joan Marie Larkin on Sept. 22, 1958, is an American rock guitarist, singer, producer, actress, and former member of The Runaways who performs with her band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The majority of her music is recorded with her band Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Only two albums, “Bad Reputation” and “The Hit List” were released as solo material.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/Joan+Jett on Last.fm.

chubbychecker231711 6 Voices From Philly’s Musical Legacy

(credit: Al Bello/ALLSPORT/Getty Images)

Chubby Checker

Chubby Checker is the stage name of Ernest Evans (born Oct. 3, 1941), an American singer best known for popularizing the dance The Twist with his 1960 song “The Twist.” He was born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina, and raised in South Philadelphia, and attended South Philadelphia High School with Frankie Avalon and Fabian. The wife of American Bandstand’s host Dick Clark suggested the name “Chubby Checker” to Evans as a take-off on then-popular singer Fats Domino.

For more, listen at www.last.fm/music/Chubby+Checker on Last.fm.

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