About The Song

“Midnight Train to Georgia” later arrived into Gladys Knights’ hands when Weatherly’s publisher passed the song along to the legendary R&B group. The band had just left Motown Records and signed a deal with Buddah Records. 1973’s Imaginations was their first for the new venture, and “Georgia” only their second single there. Quite noticeably, the song landed in very capable hands, and Knight injects the story with a more polished, soulful mood.

“I wanted an Al Green thing going, you know? Something moody, with a little ride to it. I’ve always liked my tracks full: horns, keyboards, and other instruments to create texture and spark something in me,” Knight expressed to the Wall Street Journal in 2013. “While recording that single, I was thinking about my own situation. My husband at the time was a beautiful saxophonist, and so gifted, but he was unhappy that we didn’t have a more traditional marriage, because I was often on the road or recording. Ultimately, it all proved too much for him, like the song said, and we divorced later, in ‘73.”

In her 1998 biography “Between Each Line of Pain and Glory,” Knight expressed how “Midnight Train to Georgia” was “the first song in a long time that felt like it belonged to us,” she wrote. “Our fans must have agreed; it is still selling.”

See also  Gladys Knight and the Pips - Neither One Of Us

“He kept dreamin’ / Oh that someday he’d be a star,” she sings, truly digging deep for the emotional punch. “But he sure found out the hard way / That dreams don’t always come true.”

Gladys Knight & the Pips took the song to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot Soul Singles chart. Later, it won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.

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