Soul Music Lives on with Gladys Knight and the O'Jays
by Dave Segal
on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 11:46 AM
(Chateau Ste. Michelle) Gladys Knight overcame her unbeautiful first name and became one of the boldest glossy soul belters ever to grip a mic. She and the Pips have the distinction of doing one of the most thrilling versions of one of the greatest songs, "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Philadelphia soul troupe the O'Jays had a phenomenal run in the '70s, buttering the airwaves with inspirational soul and funk jams like "Love Train," "Back Stabbers," "For the Love of Money" (best phased/wah-wah'd bass line ever?), "I Love Music," and "Give the People What They Want." Both artists flourished in a time when radio hits were damn near high art, not crass hackwork. Go and hear some all-time classics—and, as a bonus, see some stiff-jointed middle-agers try to relive their youths.