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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Out There!: "One Shining Moment" by Teddy Pendergrass

Teddy Pendergrass has died today at the age of 59 due to colon cancer. For those casual music fans who are not familiar with his career, Teddy Pendergrass was a prominent R&B/soul performer in the late 70's/early 80's who was nominated five times for best R&B male performance Grammy awards. Before embarking on a solo career, he was the lead singer of popular 70's soul group, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes. If you happened to catch the Behind The Music VH1 documentary about Pendergrass, you might also remember that he was involved in a serious car crash in 1982 that left him paralyzed from the waist down due to a serious spinal injury suffered in the accident. He returned to the music industry after rehabilitation in 1984 performing a beautiful ballad duet (Hold Me) with a then unknown Whitney Houston and released a few more songs until 2006 when he retired from the music business. One of those songs was recorded in 1993 which happens to be one of my favorite songs of all time and was used on my wedding video opening montage that showed baby and kid photos of my wife and I. Most people also know this song, but probably not who performed it. The song I am referring to is a fitting tribute song to Teddy, "One Shining Moment". I actually wasn't going to write up this song for a while, but feel it's appropriate to do so now in light of Teddy's death.

One Shining Moment was written and originally recorded by David Barrett, but it's Pendergrass's 1993 recording that people most remember. David Barrett was a song writer primarily focused on writing uplifting sports anthems but never really had much of a career as a performer. The song was actually written by Barrett after viewing Larry Bird's performance in the 1979 NCAA Tournament but wouldn't become a sensation until much later on. Barrett passed along the song to his buddy Armen Kateyian, who many know as a prime time sports investigative reporter, who at the time was working for CBS. Kateyian then passed the song to CBS Sports Creative Director Doug Towey. One Shining Moment was actually going to be used as the postgame montage after Super Bowl XXI, but the montage was cancelled due to time restraints. CBS then decided to use it as the post-game montage after the Indiana/Syracuse 1987 tournament final game, and it's been the official NCAA ending theme ever since. The original Barrett-sung theme was used until 1993, then switched to Pendergrass's brilliant rendition from 1994-1999. Although Pendergrass sang the best version, the theme now used is the version sung by Luther Vandross which apparently was his last recording ever before his death from a stroke. Hopefully CBS will switch back to the Pendergrass version for this upcoming tournament in honor of the legend, and also because it truly is the best version. One Shining Moment is the ultimate sports anthem and makes you feel like a winner and that you can achieve your dreams if you work hard or something like that.

Ladies and gentlemen.. In tribute to Teddy Pendergrass.. from the 1996 NCAA Tournament... One Shining Moment!!

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