The Way We Were – Gladys Knight And The Pips – The Way We Were

Posted: March 9th, 2018 under Casette.

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Atlanta, Georgia that remained active on the music charts and performing circuit for three decades. Starting out as simply The Pips in 1952, derived from a cousin’s nickname, the founding members were Gladys Knight, brother Merald “Bubba” Knight, sister Brenda Knight and cousins William and Eleanor Guest. The group reached commercial success after signing with Motown Records in 1966. Gladys Knight performed on Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour in 1952 at the age of seven, winning first prize. On September 4, 1952, Gladys, Bubba, sister Brenda and their cousins William and Eleanor Guest began performing together during Bubba’s tenth birthday party after a record player malfunctioned. By 1959, Brunswick dropped the group and both Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest left the group to begin families.

They were replaced by another cousin, Edward Patten, and a friend, Langston George. Patten and George were involved in another group before joining the Pips. In 1961, they recorded their version of Johnny Otis’ “Every Beat of My Heart”. The group’s success was halted by Gladys Knight’s sudden departure in 1962 to start a family with husband Jimmy Newman, a musician. Knight gave birth to the couple’s son James Gaston Newman III in August.

A daughter, Kenya Maria Newman, was born in November 1963. During this period, the Pips kept performing and recording to little fanfare and eventually each Pip took odd jobs while Gladys Knight began performing solo with Jimmy Newman being her musical director. The group developed a reputation for exciting and polished live performances that enabled them to work even without the benefit of best-selling records. I Heard It Through the Grapevine”.