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Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.

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Information about Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.

Profile image of Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
You've Gotta Wanna.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1942
Birth Location:
Atlanta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
MusicMakers
Occupation(s):
R & B Singer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Pasta
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Las Vegas, Nevada
Favorite Quote:
You've Gotta Wanna.

Birthplace

Born:
9/4/1942
Birth Location:
Atlanta
See how Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Rhythm and Blues Singer Merald “Bubba” Knight, Jr. was born on September 4, 1942, in Atlanta, Georgia. Knight’s mother, Elizabeth Woods-Knight, was a nurse’s aide, and his father, Merald Knight, Sr., was a restaurant supervisor. Knight’s parents were also singers in the Wings Over Jordan gospel choir. In 1952, at the young age of ten, he and his sisters, Gladys and Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor, formed the musical group the Pips. Knight would go on to graduate from Samuel Archer High School in Atlanta in 1960.

Performing as a singer, Knight and the Pips, along with new members Edward Patten and Langston George, began touring with Jackie Wilson and Sam Cooke in the late 1950s as an opening act. In 1961, the Pips produced their first R & B Top-20 hit with a version of Johnny Otis’s Every Beat of My Heart. Then, in 1966, the Pips signed to Motown’s subsidiary, Soul records. The group released their major hit single, I Heard It Through the Grapevine in 1967. Hits that followed included 1968’s The Nitty Gritty, 1969’s Friendship Train, 1970’s If I Were Your Woman, 1971’s I Don’t Want To Do Wrong, and the 1973 Grammy Award-winning Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye). In 1973, the Pips left Motown and signed with Buddah records. Their first album with Buddah was Imagination, which would become their best-selling album. Imagination included the 1974 Grammy-winning song Midnight Train to Georgia. Gladys Knight and the Pips continued to produce hits until 1989, when Gladys decided to leave the group.

Knight has received many awards and honors while involved with Gladys Knight and the Pips. The group has been honored with four Grammy Awards and seven American Music Awards. In 1989, the Pips were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and in 1996, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Pips received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1998. In 2001, they were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, and, in 2006, the Pips were inducted into the Apollo Theater's Hall of Fame in New York.

Knight is married to Kathleen C. A. Knight, and they live in Henderson, Nevada.

Bubba Knight was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 28, 2013.

See how Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his childhood memories of his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls his childhood memories of his grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his mother and her family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his older sister, Brenda Knight
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the places he lived during his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his sister Gladys' performance on Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his school and the support his sister, Gladys Knight, received from his teacher's sister, Ruth Hall Hodges
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his memories of his family singing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about listening to his sister's performance on "The Original Amateur Hour" and the formation of "The Pips"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about forming "The Pips" and the prize his sister, Gladys Knight, received for winning "The Original Amateur Hour"
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about The Pips' first performance and winning a weekend engagement at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls naming the group "The Pips" in honor of his cousin, James "Pip" Woods
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta, Georgia when he was around eleven years old
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls The Pips' first performance and taking lessons from Maurice King in Detroit, Michigan
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls working with Maurice King and The Pips' first recording in 1958
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the changing lineup of The Pips in 1959
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the solos that each member of The Pips sang in their original lineup
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about some of the songs The Pips performed and the groups that inspired them
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording Johnny Otis' "Every Beat of My Heart" in 1961
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes signing with Fury Records and recording a second version of "Every Beat of My Heart"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the success of "Every Beat of My Heart" and Glady's Knight's departure from the group
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the popularity of the Pips after their performance at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Gladys Knight's departure from the Pips
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Darling" after Gladys Knight's departure from the Pips
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Gladys Knight's solo recording of "Come See About Me"
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the reunion of Gladys Knight and the Pips and recording "Giving Up"
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes preparing for Gladys Knight and the Pips' second concert at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about working with Charles "Cholly" Atkins and Charles "Honi" Coles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Gladys Knight and the Pips decided to sign with Motown Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls negotiating their contract with Motown Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the environment at Motown Records when they signed
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his frustrations with Motown Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and its success
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about their financial situation at Motown Records
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about leaving Motown Records, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about leaving Motown Records, pt. 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Second slating of Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.'s interview
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing with Moms Mabley at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the Jewel Box Revue and gay performers in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience working with choreographer Charles "Cholly" Atkins
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the Pips' early manager, Marguerite Mays
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience with Bobby Robinson and Fats Lewis at Fury Records
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about meeting Marshall Sehorn and Bobby Robinson of Fury Records and performing for the first time at the Apollo Theater
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about not getting paid royalties for his early records
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes meeting Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg while recording with Maxx Records, pt. 1
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes meeting Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg while recording with Maxx Records, pt. 2
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Maxx Records to record for Motown Records in 1966
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg protected their business interests
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience with Motown Records prior to working with Norman Whitfield
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about their booking agencies and performing at the Copacabana in New York City, New York
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about rehearsing with Charlie "Cholly" Atkins at Motown Records
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his relationship with Charles "Cholly" Atkins
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Charles "Cholly" Atkins' experience at Motown Records, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Charles "Cholly" Atkins' experience at Motown Records, pt. 2
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls when Paul Williams created the "Temptation Walk
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his business role within Gladys Knight and the Pips
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Motown Records for Buddah Records in 1973
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about other artists who left Motown Records
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the group's decision to sign with Buddah Records in 1973
  • Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls Motown Records' move to California in 1972
  • Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls discovering the Jackson Five while performing at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes working with Norman Whitfield and the hit songs he recorded at Motown Records
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" with Motown Records in 1967
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls receiving constructive criticism from HistoryMakers Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes appearing on the first syndicated episode of Soul Train in 1971
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the songs that Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded for Motown Records
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Motown Records and Fury Records managed songwriting credit and ownership
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" for Buddah Records and working with Jim Weatherly
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Midnight Train to Georgia" in 1973
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the producers and artists at Buddah Records
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his experience at Buddah Records
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his managers and producers at Buddah Records
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes winning two Grammy Awards in 1974
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the "Gladys Knight and the Pips Show" on NBC
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Sid Seidenberg and the group's international success after 1974
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the group's lawyer, Irwin Spiegel Osher
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the financial conflicts between Gladys Knight and the Pips and their second breakup in 1978
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes Gladys Knight's solo career and the reunion of Gladys Knight and the Pips at Columbia Records in 1980
  • Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience recording for Columbia Records
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about working with Sam Dees at Columbia Records
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about recording "Hero", commonly known as "Wind Beneath My Wings", for Columbia Records, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about recording "Hero", commonly known as "Wind Beneath My Wings", for Columbia Records, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Columbia Records and signing with MCA Records, pt. 1
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Columbia Records and signing with MCA Records, pt. 2
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the third time that Gladys Knight and the Pips broke up in 1989
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience ending the group while at a high point in their career
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the success of Gladys Knight and the Pips, pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the success of Gladys Knight and the Pips, pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on his goals after Gladys Knight and the Pips broke up and his marriage to Kathleen Knight
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how he met his wife, Kathleen Knight
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his first marriage to Kathleen Knight
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his divorce from Kathleen Knight, pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes moving to Los Angeles and getting his real estate license after divorcing Kathleen Knight
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes reuniting with his ex-wife, Kathleen Knight, after fifteen years
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his second marriage proposal and wedding to Kathleen Knight
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his parents, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his parents, pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes moving his extended family into a compound in Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about introducing humor into his live performances
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls performing with his sister, Gladys Knight, at the White House
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing with his sister, Gladys Knight, on her solo tours
  • Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the importance of family
  • Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the musical directors who worked with him and his sister
  • Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares a story about his fellow Pip, Edward Patten
  • Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares a story about his fellow Pip, William Guest
  • Tape: 13 Story: 11 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the loyalty of the Pips and the integrity of the Pips name
  • Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls being offered a chance for the Pips to sing backup to James Brown
  • Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the career of HistoryMaker B.B. King
  • Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his favorite venues in Las Vegas, Nevada and performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe"
  • Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe", pt. 1
  • Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe", pt. 2
  • Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording "If I Could Bring Back Yesterday"
  • Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his thoughts on the music industry today
  • Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his opinion about casual use of the "N" word
  • Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the contributions of African Americans to American music
  • Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects upon his legacy