The records of Danny Thomas and Gladys Knight & the Pips are not names usually found on the same radio play lists, but the two acts have a definite connection. Songwriter Jim Weatherly, who wrote "Midnight Train to Georgia," a million-selling number one R&B/pop hit for Knight and the group, had a connection to Thomas, star of the classic '50s sitcom Make Room for Daddy and father of Marlo Thomas, the star of '60s sitcom favorite That Girl. Weatherly's manager was Thomas' father-in-law and Weatherly's ballad "The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" was originally recorded by Thomas as an ode to his mother in the early '70s. Ray Price's cover was a number one country hit.
Price's cover was the one heard by producers Kenny Kerner and Richie Wise who had produced Gladys Knight & the Pips' gold single "I've Got to Use My Imagination." The duo used the same rhythm section heard on that track. From their gold Imagination LP, Gladys Knight & the Pips' million-selling cover of "The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" stayed at number one R&B for two weeks and number three pop in spring 1974. That version lead to a cover by gospel great James Cleveland titled "Jesus Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me." Knight used one of the song's key lyric lines for the title of her 1998 Hyperion autobiography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story.