Friday, June 10th, 2022

Watch Gladys Knight & The Pips Bring Soul To 1970 ‘Ed Sullivan Show’

Gladys Knight & the Pips star in a newly-shared clip from the archives of The Ed Sullivan Show. The infectious performance from the March 29, 1970 show features a spoken introduction by Knight and a brief segment of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” before the group launch into their R&B No.1 of three years earlier, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine.”

This edition from the 23rd season of the storied, long-running variety series also starred Bobbie Gentry and Buck Owens. Continuing the show’s tradition of being staged in special settings, it was broadcast from two army medical centers, where Gladys and co. sang for wounded soldiers.

The group, still signed to Motown at the time, were about to have their first hit of the 1970s with the single “You Need Love Like I Do (Don’t You),” which went to No.3 R&B and No.25 pop. The much-loved soul stars were by now almost a decade into their chart success (since “Every Beat Of My Heart” became an R&B No.1 in 1961, as Knight was turning 17) and, remarkably, had already been together 18 years, since forming in 1952.