Monday, December 31, 1973

Gladys Knight 1964-1973

In 1964, Jimmy left. Gladys was only 20 years old with two small children. Gladys left her children in Atlanta with her mother while she was on the road trying to earn a living for them. They did a record with Maxx Records titled "Giving Up Is Hard to Do" which got a lot of air time and did well.

In 1965, Gladys Knight and The Pips followed Maxx Records to Motown on a seven-year contract. They toured with the Supremes, but they were not on the A-list at Mowtown, and they were ignored a good deal. Gladys and Bubba bought a big house in Detroit where their mother and sister joined them.

In 1967, Gladys Knight and The Pips got a big hit titled "I Heard It through the Grapevine," which got them all kinds of work at clubs all over.

In 1969, Gladys Knight met Joe Jackson and his sons The Jackson Five. She called her manager at Motown to try to get somebody to take a look at these very talented kids, but Motown didn't come see them until Bobby Taylor saw them a few months later. Gladys Knight appeared in an episode of Sesme Street.

In 1971, Gladys Knight and The Pips had another big hit, "If I were Your Woman." Gladys never felt very comfortable with the song, but the audience loved it.

In 1973, their contract with Motown was up. They had one more hit, "Neither One of Us" ("Wants to Be the First to Say Good-bye").Then, they signed with an independent label, Buddah Records where they got a lot more attention and their careers soared. Their first album with Buddah went triple platnium with three gold records: "Midnight Train to Georgia, "Imagination," and "Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." (Trivia note: "Midnight Train to Georgia" was originally titled "Midnight Plane to Houston.")