On this day in music history: July 8, 1978 – &…

On this day in music history: July 8, 1978 – “Close The Door” by Teddy Pendergrass hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #25 on the Hot 100 on September 16, 1978. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the first solo chart topper for the former lead singer for Harold Melvin & The Bluenotes. Philadelphia International Records co-founders Gamble and Huff craft the song specifically for Pendergrass, playing on his reputation as a ladies man, and for his powerful, rich baritone voice. Issued as the lead single from his second solo album “Life Is A Song Worth Singing” in April of 1978, “Close The Door” cements Pendergrass’ reputation as sex symbol with a large and loyal female fan base. The success of the single propels his second solo album “Life Is A Song Worth Singing” to the top of the R&B album chart (for 2 weeks, #11 Pop), and to 2x Platinum status in the US. The song is later sampled by Keith Murray on “Get Lifted” in 1994, with comedian Eddie Murphy singing along with Pendergrass’ original recording in the film “The Nutty Professor” in 1996. Boyz II Men also record a cover version of “Close The Door” on their album “Throwback Vol. 1” in 2004, and by Jeffrey Osborne on his album “From The Soul” in 2005. “Close The Door” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.