Midnight Train to Georgia turns 50

Cheryl E Preston

Gladys Knight and the PipsPhoto byThe Sou Kings Youtube video

Midnight Train to Georgia has been around for 5 decades

Gladys Knight and the Pips had their greatest hit in 1973 with Midnight Train to Georgia which was released in August and was number one in October. The song was literally being played everywhere. that summer and I recall getting in the car with my mom many times and it was playing on the radio. I listened intently each week to Casey Kasem's top 40 as the record climbed the chart and it seemed that Gladys and her Pips were on every television show possible at the time.

If I remember correctly Gladys Knight and the Pips sang Midnight Train to Georgia on SoulTrain, American Bandstand, The Flip Wilson Show, The Midnight Special, and possibly The Sonny and Cher Show. My great-grandmother Florence asked me one day if Gladys Knight knew any other songs because she was tired of hearing this one every time she turned on the TV. This was also a favorite tune at parties and dances.

The midnight train began as a midnight plane

There really is no Midnight Train to Georgia and the song was originally titled Midnight Plane to Houston according to Jim Weatherly who penned it. He said his inspiration was Farrah Fawcett who said during a telephone conversation that she was catching a plane to Houston. Whitney Houston's mom Sissy heard the song and wanted to record it but said her people did not take planes they rode trains. The title was changed and Gladys Knight who is from Georgia ended up with the hit record.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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