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Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.

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.

Accession Number

A2013.244

Sex

Male

Interview Date

8/28/2013

11/20/2013

Last Name

Knight

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Woodrow

Occupation
Schools

Samuel Archer High School

Las Vegas School of Real Estate

University of Nevada, Las Vegas

English Avenue Elementary School

Henry McNeal Turner High School

First Name

Merald

Birth City, State, Country

Atlanta

HM ID

KNI02

Favorite Season

Summer

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Las Vegas, Nevada

Favorite Quote

You've Gotta Wanna.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Nevada

Interview Description
Birth Date

9/4/1942

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Las Vegas

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Pasta

Short Description

R & B singer Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. (1942 - ) was a performer and founding member of Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Favorite Color

Earth Tones

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117520">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.'s interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117521">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117522">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117523">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his childhood memories of his father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117524">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls his childhood memories of his grandmother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117525">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his mother and her family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117526">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117527">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117528">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his siblings</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117290">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his older sister, Brenda Knight</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117291">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the places he lived during his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117292">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117293">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his sister Gladys' performance on Ted Mack's "Original Amateur Hour"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117294">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117295">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his memories of his family singing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117296">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"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117297">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"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117298">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117529">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls naming the group "The Pips" in honor of his cousin, James "Pip" Woods</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117530">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta, Georgia when he was around eleven years old</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117531">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his neighborhood in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117532">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls The Pips' first performance and taking lessons from Maurice King in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117533">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls working with Maurice King and The Pips' first recording in 1958</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117534">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the changing lineup of The Pips in 1959</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117535">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the solos that each member of The Pips sang in their original lineup</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117536">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about some of the songs The Pips performed and the groups that inspired them</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117537">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording Johnny Otis' "Every Beat of My Heart" in 1961</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117308">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes signing with Fury Records and recording a second version of "Every Beat of My Heart"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117309">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117310">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117311">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117312">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Gladys Knight's departure from the Pips</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117313">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Darling" after Gladys Knight's departure from the Pips</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117314">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Gladys Knight's solo recording of "Come See About Me"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117315">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the reunion of Gladys Knight and the Pips and recording "Giving Up"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117538">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117539">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about working with Charles "Cholly" Atkins and Charles "Honi" Coles</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117540">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Gladys Knight and the Pips decided to sign with Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117541">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls negotiating their contract with Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117542">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the environment at Motown Records when they signed</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117543">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his frustrations with Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117544">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" and its success</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117545">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about their financial situation at Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117546">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about leaving Motown Records, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117547">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about leaving Motown Records, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117326">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Second slating of Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr.'s interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117327">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing with Moms Mabley at the Apollo Theater in New York City, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117328">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the Jewel Box Revue and gay performers in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117329">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience working with choreographer Charles "Cholly" Atkins</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117330">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the Pips' early manager, Marguerite Mays</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117331">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience with Bobby Robinson and Fats Lewis at Fury Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117332">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117333">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about not getting paid royalties for his early records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117334">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes meeting Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg while recording with Maxx Records, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117335">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes meeting Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg while recording with Maxx Records, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117336">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Maxx Records to record for Motown Records in 1966</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117337">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Floyd Lieberman and Sid Seidenberg protected their business interests</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117338">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience with Motown Records prior to working with Norman Whitfield</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117339">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about their booking agencies and performing at the Copacabana in New York City, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117340">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about rehearsing with Charlie "Cholly" Atkins at Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117341">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his relationship with Charles "Cholly" Atkins</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117342">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Charles "Cholly" Atkins' experience at Motown Records, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117343">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Charles "Cholly" Atkins' experience at Motown Records, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117344">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls when Paul Williams created the "Temptation Walk</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117345">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his business role within Gladys Knight and the Pips</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117346">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Motown Records for Buddah Records in 1973</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117347">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about other artists who left Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117348">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the group's decision to sign with Buddah Records in 1973</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117349">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls Motown Records' move to California in 1972</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117350">Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls discovering the Jackson Five while performing at the Regal Theater in Chicago, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117351">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes working with Norman Whitfield and the hit songs he recorded at Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117352">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" with Motown Records in 1967</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117353">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls receiving constructive criticism from HistoryMakers Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117354">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes appearing on the first syndicated episode of Soul Train in 1971</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117355">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the songs that Gladys Knight and the Pips recorded for Motown Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117356">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how Motown Records and Fury Records managed songwriting credit and ownership</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117357">Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Where Peaceful Waters Flow" for Buddah Records and working with Jim Weatherly</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117358">Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes recording "Midnight Train to Georgia" in 1973</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117359">Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls the producers and artists at Buddah Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117360">Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his experience at Buddah Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117361">Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his managers and producers at Buddah Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117362">Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes winning two Grammy Awards in 1974</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117363">Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the "Gladys Knight and the Pips Show" on NBC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117364">Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about Sid Seidenberg and the group's international success after 1974</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117365">Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the group's lawyer, Irwin Spiegel Osher</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117366">Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the financial conflicts between Gladys Knight and the Pips and their second breakup in 1978</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117367">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117368">Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience recording for Columbia Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117369">Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about working with Sam Dees at Columbia Records</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117370">Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about recording "Hero", commonly known as "Wind Beneath My Wings", for Columbia Records, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117371">Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about recording "Hero", commonly known as "Wind Beneath My Wings", for Columbia Records, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117372">Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Columbia Records and signing with MCA Records, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117373">Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes leaving Columbia Records and signing with MCA Records, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117374">Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the third time that Gladys Knight and the Pips broke up in 1989</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117375">Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience ending the group while at a high point in their career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117376">Tape: 11 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the success of Gladys Knight and the Pips, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117377">Tape: 12 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the success of Gladys Knight and the Pips, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117378">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</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117379">Tape: 12 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes how he met his wife, Kathleen Knight</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117380">Tape: 12 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his first marriage to Kathleen Knight</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117381">Tape: 12 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his divorce from Kathleen Knight, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117382">Tape: 12 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes moving to Los Angeles and getting his real estate license after divorcing Kathleen Knight</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117383">Tape: 12 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes reuniting with his ex-wife, Kathleen Knight, after fifteen years</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117384">Tape: 12 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his second marriage proposal and wedding to Kathleen Knight</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117385">Tape: 13 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his parents, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117386">Tape: 13 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his parents, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117387">Tape: 13 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes moving his extended family into a compound in Las Vegas, Nevada</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117388">Tape: 13 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about introducing humor into his live performances</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117389">Tape: 13 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls performing with his sister, Gladys Knight, at the White House</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117390">Tape: 13 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes performing with his sister, Gladys Knight, on her solo tours</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117391">Tape: 13 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the importance of family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117392">Tape: 13 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes the musical directors who worked with him and his sister</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117393">Tape: 13 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares a story about his fellow Pip, Edward Patten</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117394">Tape: 13 Story: 10 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares a story about his fellow Pip, William Guest</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117395">Tape: 13 Story: 11 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the loyalty of the Pips and the integrity of the Pips name</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117396">Tape: 14 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls being offered a chance for the Pips to sing backup to James Brown</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117397">Tape: 14 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about the career of HistoryMaker B.B. King</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117398">Tape: 14 Story: 3 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. talks about his favorite venues in Las Vegas, Nevada and performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117399">Tape: 14 Story: 4 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe", pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117400">Tape: 14 Story: 5 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his experience performing in "Smokey Joe's Cafe", pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117401">Tape: 14 Story: 6 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. recalls recording "If I Could Bring Back Yesterday"</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117402">Tape: 14 Story: 7 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. describes his plans for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117403">Tape: 14 Story: 8 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his thoughts on the music industry today</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117404">Tape: 14 Story: 9 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. shares his opinion about casual use of the "N" word</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117405">Tape: 15 Story: 1 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects on the contributions of African Americans to American music</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/117406">Tape: 15 Story: 2 - Merald "Bubba" Knight, Jr. reflects upon his legacy</a>

Geraldine Johnson

Geraldine Johnson is a distinguished retired educator, community activist, and volunteer. She was born on April 11, 1919, in Bridgeport Connecticut – the third in a family of seven children. She grew up in the East End of the city where she attended McKinley, Harding, and Bridgeport Normal Schools, which she later went on to lead as Superintendent of Schools. Johnson received her B.A. degree in teacher education at New Haven Teachers College (now SCSU) in 1940 and her M.A. degree at New York University in 1959. Following graduate school, she went on to earn her sixth-year professional certificate at the University of Bridgeport in 1969.

In 1961, Johnson became a principal after achieving the number one score on Bridgeport’s civil service examination. She served in many other educational capacities as well and taught first, seventh, and eighth grade, as well as a music class. She also worked as a Director of Title I Programs in Bridgeport, assisting disadvantaged pupils with achievement in school programs. In 1969, she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Bridgeport Public Schools, the second largest school system in Connecticut. She went on to become Superintendent of Schools in 1976, notably working through the 19-day teachers’ strike over salary contracts in 1978. She became Interim Superintendent of Schools in Fairfield, Connecticut in 1986, after her retirement in 1981.

Governor Ella Grasso listed Johnson as one of Connecticut’s 100 Most Distinguished Women in 1976. The Girl Scouts also named her a “Woman of Distinction.” She was bestowed Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University, and the University of Bridgeport. To honor her work as a superintendent and her commitment to education, in 2008 a new elementary school was dedicated to her and named the Geraldine W. Johnson School.

Geraldine Johnson was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 29, 2010.

Johnson passed away on November 28, 2015.

Accession Number

A2010.004

Sex

Female

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/29/2010

Last Name

Johnson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Divorced

Occupation
Schools

Harding High School

Southern Connecticut State University

New York University

University of Bridgeport

McKinley Elementary School

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield University

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Geraldine

Birth City, State, Country

Bridgeport

HM ID

JOH36

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Connecticut

Favorite Vacation Destination

Hawaii

Favorite Quote

Hurry Up!

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Connecticut

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/11/1919

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Bridgeport

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Steak (Filet Mignon)

Death Date

11/28/2015

Short Description

Teacher Geraldine Johnson (1919 - 2015 ) was the first African American woman to serve as superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools.

Employment

Bridgeport Board of Education

Fairfield Board of Education

Greater Bridgeport Adolescent Pregnancy Program

Connecticut Symphony

Connecticut Parole Board

Favorite Color

Blue

DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611409">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Geraldine Johnson's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611410">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Geraldine Johnson lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611411">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Geraldine Johnson describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611412">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her mother's upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611413">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Geraldine Johnson remembers her mother's career as a beautician</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611414">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her mother's organizational activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611415">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Geraldine Johnson describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611416">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Geraldine Johnson remembers her father's storytelling</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611417">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her father's career</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611418">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Geraldine Johnson describes how her parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611419">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her relationship with her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611420">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611421">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Geraldine Johnson describes the East End of Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611422">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Geraldine Johnson talks about the integration of the public school faculty in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611423">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Geraldine Johnson describes her experiences in a majority-white school district</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611424">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Geraldine Johnson describes her childhood activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611425">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Geraldine Johnson recalls a discriminatory teacher at Warren Harding High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611426">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Geraldine Johnson remembers her social life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611427">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Geraldine Johnson remembers her first cello recital</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611428">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her enrollment at the Bridgeport Normal School in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611429">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her mentor at the Bridgeport Normal School in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611430">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Geraldine Johnson remembers graduating from the New Haven State Teachers College in New Haven, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611431">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Geraldine Johnson remembers joining the faculty of the Prospect School in Bridgeport, Connecticut</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611432">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Geraldine Johnson reflects upon the changing attitudes towards educators</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611433">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Geraldine Johnson describes her transition to school administration</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611434">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her start as a school principal</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611435">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Geraldine Johnson remembers developing programs for low-income students in the Bridgeport Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611436">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her nomination as superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611437">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Geraldine Johnson remembers meeting with the Bridgeport Board of Education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611438">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her marriages</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611439">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Geraldine Johnson recalls her challenges as the superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611440">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Geraldine Johnson remembers a teachers' strike in the Bridgeport Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611441">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her tenure as superintendent of the Bridgeport Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611442">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Geraldine Johnson recalls serving as the interim superintendent of the Fairfield Public Schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611443">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her retirement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611444">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Geraldine Johnson describes her international travels</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611445">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Geraldine Johnson talks about the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611446">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her membership in The Links</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611447">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Geraldine Johnson describes her organization activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611448">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Geraldine Johnson reflects upon her life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611449">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Geraldine Johnson describes her daughter</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611450">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Geraldine Johnson reflects upon her legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611451">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Geraldine Johnson talks about her family</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/611452">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Geraldine Johnson narrates her photographs</a>