Thursday Inspiration #195 If You Don’t Know Me By Now

Respond to this challenge, by either by using the prompt word understand, or going with the above picture, or by means of the song ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, or by going with another song by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, or anything else that you think fits.  In 1971, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes released their self-titled debut album which heralded the arrival of a new era in R&B.  This was the Philly soul sound as we know it today, but in 1971 it had not yet been defined.  The group’s drummer Teddy Pendergrass sang lead on ‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, and this song reached #9 in the UK, it went to #3 in the US, and it was nominated for a Grammy Award.  Later the (RIAA) Recording Industry Association of America ranked this as one of the “Songs of the Century.”  This was written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who are considered to be the architects of the Philadelphia Soul sound.

Harold Melvin was a self-taught pianist, who began singing doo-wop with a vocal ensemble called the Charlemagnes in 1953.  In 1954, Melvin formed the quintet called ‘The Bluenotes’, that included Bernard Williams, Roosevelt Brodie, Jesse Gillis Jr., and Franklin Peaker.  They had a few records on the R&B charts and during the late ’60s, the group toured often with the Cadillacs, whose young drummer was Teddy Pendergrass.  Their singer John Atkins left in 1970 and shortly after, the group consisted of Melvin, Pendergrass, bass vocalist Lawrence Brown, baritone vocalist Bernard Wilson, and tenor vocalist Lloyd Parks.  Since Harold Melvin was the only original member left, this group changed to become Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.  Gamble and Huff sang backup on this track. The song expresses a common sentiment concerning that if your lady doesn’t seem to understand you, that will make you feel like “if you don’t know me by now, you never will.”  Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes disbanded in 1997, when Harold passed away from stroke complications on March 24th in Philadelphia.

If you don’t know me by now
You will never never never know me (oh)
All the things that we’ve been through
You should understand me like I understand you

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