Remembering Gladys Knight & The Pips' performance of 'Midnight Train to Georgia'
Gladys Knight & The Pips were one of the most popular R&B and soul bands from the early-60s up until their disbandment in 1989.
Even though most of its members were relatives (cousins, siblings) one of them, Langston George, was not related to them. While they managed to place a couple of songs at the highest spots of the most important music charts, one of their tunes became an instant classic.
“Midnight Train to Georgia” was released in 1973 and it was included in the band’s LP titled “Imagination.” The song was so good that it won the 1974 Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo, Group Or Chorus and has become Knight's signature song.
In the official video of the classic tune, Gladys appeared wearing a beautiful, shiny, white and silver dress a couple of steps in front of the rest of the band. The men wore matching black suits with matching bow ties.
THE ISSUE WITH MOTOWN RECORDS
A year ago, Gladys had a conversation with Billboard and revealed why the band left the record label Motown, one of the most recognized musical companies in the history of the US who worked with bands such as the Supremes, and the Jackson 5, and individuals like Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye.
Gladys pointed out that Motown wanted everything from the band, something that she didn’t like. She added that the label wanted to manage and record them and that she didn’t feel that they would get their “due.”
THE NEXT LABEL, BUDDAH RECORDS
In February 1973, the group left Motown and signed with Buddah Records, where they made “Midnight Train to Georgia,” which later became the super-hit they were looking for a long time.
GLADYS’ SOLO CAREER
Unfortunately, the members of the band parted ways in 1989. Gladys embarked in a very successful solo career, though. She was one of the singers who performed the world-wide known “That’s What Friends Are For,” next to Dionne Warwick, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder.
THEIR RECENT PERFORMANCE
In 2015, three decades after the official release of that tune, Dionne, Stevie, and Gladys got together again at the Apollo Theater to perform it live once more time.
All three singers marveled the audience with their powerful and touching rendition of the song. One of the most remarkable moments of the presentation was listening to Stevie’s harmonica solo.