Throwback: Gladys Knight & The Pips-I’ve Got To Use My Imagination


Gladys Knight has been performing since she was a child when she won the Ted Mack amateur hour at the age of 7. The following year she and her brother, sister and cousins formed The Pips. Their first hit “Every Beat Of My Heart” came in ’61 nine years after they got together but by ’62 the lineup changed and they became Gladys Knight & The Pips. They joined Motown in ’66 and had success with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” ” If I Were Your Woman” and “Neither One Of Us (Wants To Be The First To Say Goodbye.” Their move to Buddah Records in ’73 is the time period of “I’ve Got To Use My Imagination.” The song was written by famed songwriters Gerry Goffin and Barry Goldberg for GK&TP’s first album on Buddah, Imagination. This album is the one with “Midnight Train To Georgia” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me.” Gladys has had continued success throughout the years and she was actually the person who discovered The Jackson 5 before Berry Gordy changed the story and gave the credit to Diana Ross. She and her group also performed the soundtrack to the ’70’s Black film “Claudine” and that’s where the funky “On And On” came from. In the ’80s she had more success with “Save The Overtime For Me,” “Love Overboard” and the AIDS charity collaboration single “That’s What Friends Are For.” In May of last year she spoke and sang at a rally for Michelle Obama in Asheville, NC and she still performs well.