Can We Talk? – I Finally Saw Showtime’s Documentary “Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me”

Have you seen the Showtime documentary about the late R&B legend Teddy Pendergrass?
I finally got a chance to watch “Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me” and was completely captivated by his story.
I was a baby when Teddy was at the peek of his success. And while I learned bits and pieces of his story and career later in life, I can only recall Teddy after the car accident in his wheelchair.
Seeing the videos of this debonair soul crooner with all this swag entertain audiences and deliver charismatic performances in his prime was incredible. Showmanship aside, Teddy was a powerhouse vocalist who could just sing!
But this film also enlightened me to heavy drug culture in Philadelphia during the 70’s and 80’s and how there was a Black mafia that really ran that scene. And the idea those elements may have played a part in people around Teddy dying and could have likely been the cause of his car accident, it was all riveting to me.
This story, scandals and all, was told with precision and respectability. It was great seeing his family, friends and business associates involved; and even some of the controversial characters from that time as well.
The best part of how this documentary was executed was the use of Teddy’s own video and audio interviews as the through line to tell his own story.

Showtime didn’t promote this film very well, but its certainly one you should make it a point to see — especially if you’re a true music fan!

“Teddy Pendergrass: If You Don’t Know Me” premiered on Showtime on Feb. 9, 2019. The film is now available via Showtime On Demand. Watch the trailer below.

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