Happy Birthday to Gladys Knight, who turns 76 today (May 28th)!!! Born in Atlanta, Knight got her start performing gospel music in her local church choir, and by the age of seven she won first prize on the TV show Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. Shortly thereafter, Knight helped form the Pips with her brother Merald — better known as “Bubba” — and two cousins, Edward Patten and William Guest. Sadly, Guest died at age 74 on December 24th, 2015 from congestive heart failure in Detroit.
The group signed to Motown Records in 1966, where they scored major hits such as “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” “If I Were Your Woman,” and “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye).” After leaving Motown in the mid-'70s, Knight and the Pips moved to Buddha Records and recorded a string of smashes, including “Midnight Train To Georgia” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Gladys Knight & The Pips parted ways in 1989 and Knight continues to record as a solo artist.
Gladys Knight & The Pips left Motown in 1972 — and she told us that in the end, she and the Pips served Motown better than the label ever did them: “When we left Motown, we left them with a hit! That's how we got two Grammys that first year. One was 'Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye)' which we left with Motown, which we didn't have to do! Y'know, we had no obligations to Motown at all. But we felt that this was a strong, more than likely a hit record when we did 'Neither One Of Us.' And we were in the process of doing 'Midnight Train To Georgia,' we were still recording when we left.”