Gladys Knight and The Pips came to Motown as an established group that had performed together since the 1950s. A family affair, the group included Gladys and her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten. While Gladys Knight and The Pips had scored hits for other companies, the group really took off when they signed with Motown Records in 1966.
Their first big Motown hit, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” was released in 1967. The single, which was produced by Norman Whitfield, sold 2.5 million records, reaching #1 on the R&B charts and #2 on the pop charts. Under Whitfield’s guidance, the group released more chart-topping singles over their remaining six years with Motown, including “The Nitty Gritty” in 1968 and another #1 R&B hit in 1970, the unforgettable “If I Were Your Woman.”
Gladys Knight and The Pips won a Grammy Award in 1973 for their single, “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye).”
Gladys Knight & The Pips perform “Friendship Train” on Soul Train, 1970.
Gladys Knight & The Pips perform a medley of hits on The Ed Sullivan Show, February 25, 1968.
Gladys Knight won Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour in 1952 at the age of seven.