Gladys Knight & the Pips

Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me

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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.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Very Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips [Pair] 1971 Pair
Imagination 1973 Funky Town Grooves 3:46
Oldies But Goodies: Legendary Hits 1979
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:47
No Image 1980 Hallmark Recordings
No Image 1981 Accord 3:44
16 Solid Gold Hits 1986
Various Artists
Deluxe
Oldies But Goodies, Vol. 15 1986
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:47
Oldies but Goodies, Vol. 2 [Box] 1987
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:47
No Image 1989 Special Music
Greatest Hits [Curb] 1990 Curb / Capitol 3:44
The Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips [Pair] 1990 Pair 0:00
Soul Survivors: The Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips 1973-1988 1990 Rhino 3:47
Billboard Top R&B Hits: 1974 1990
Various Artists
Rhino 3:46
Giants of Soul [Movieplay] 1990
Various Artists
Movieplay Music 3:45
No Image 1993
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:43
The Buddah Box 1993
Various Artists
Essex 3:43
Superstars Best Love Songs, Vol. 3-4 1994
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:43
No Image 1994
Various Artists
Hollywood / IMG 3:49
Your Perfect Wedding 1994
Various Artists
Scotti Brothers 3:46
Soul Devotion [Alex] 1994
Various Artists
3:47
Lovin' You: Classic Love 1994
Various Artists
Castle Music Ltd. 3:49
Art Laboe's Dedicated to You, Vol. 5 1994
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:42
Art Laboe Killer Oldies 2 1995
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:42
Only Love: 1970-1974 1995
Various Artists
Rhino / JCI Associated Labels 3:45
Soul of a Woman: 20 Soulful Ballads 1995
Various Artists
Griffin
The Woman in Me 1995
Various Artists
MCI 3:49
Number Ones of the 1970s: Best of Rhythm & Blues 1996
Various Artists
Richmond 3:49
Do You Love Me?: All-Time Best Love Songs 1996
Various Artists
BMG 3:46
Blue Lights in the Basement 1996 RCA 3:45
Rock On: 1974 1996
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 3:43
Rock On: 1970-1974 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 3:43
No Image 1997 BMG Special Products 3:46
No Image 1997
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:45
Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips [Right Stuff] 1998 The Right Stuff 3:45
Love Songs of the 60's, 70's and 80's 1998
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:44
No Image 1998
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 3:46
R&B Relix: 1974-1975 1998
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 3:46
Modern Bride Presents the Wedding Album 1998
Various Artists
Columbia / Sony Music Distribution 3:45
Sexy Soul [K-Tel] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 3:45
Rock On: From 1970 to 1979 1998
Various Artists
Madacy 3:46
Love Songs [Columbia River] 1999
Various Artists
Columbia River Entertainment Group 3:44
Heart Beats: Now & Forever - Timeless Wedding Songs 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 3:45
No Image 1999 BMG Special Products 3:45
Collector's Edition, Vol. 3 1999 Platinum Disc 3:45
Collector's Edition, Vols. 1-3 1999 Platinum Disc 3:45
The Divas of the Millennium 1999
Various Artists
WMO (Netherlands) / Allegiance Records 3:45
Afternoon Delight: Mellow Rock Classics 1999
Various Artists
Laserlight 3:48
Mellow Rock Classics 1999
Various Artists
Laserlight / Delta Distribution 3:48
Essential Collection 1999 Hip-O 3:46
Love Songs [Time Life] 1999
Various Artists
Chakras Dream 3:46
Body + Soul: Nice and Slow 1999
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:48
Great Voices of the Millennium 1999
Various Artists
Double Gold 3:46
The Official American Bandstand Library of Rock & Roll 2000
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:45
Smooth Grooves: The Essential Collection 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 3:46
VH1 Behind the Music: The Gladys Knight and the Pips Collection 2000 Buddha Records 3:46
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Rhino 3:44
Wedding Bells & Other Popular Wedding Songs 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 3:44
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: Great Soul Ballads 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 3:45
Platinum & Gold Collection 2003 BMG Heritage / Buddha Records 3:45
WDAS 105.3 FM: Classic Soul Hits, Vol. 8 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 3:46
Soul Classics, Vol. 10 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 3:46
Capital Gold Soul Legends 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 3:44
Body + Soul: The '70s 2004
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:46
Love Songs 2005 BMG / Ariola 3:46
Old School Soul Party 2005
Various Artists
Shout! Factory / TJL 3:44
National Trust: The Wedding Album 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music 3:46
Peabo Bryson Presents Classic Soul Ballads 2005
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Reunited: The Last Dance 2005
Various Artists
Disky 3:45
Always & Forever: All Time Greatest Slow Jams, Vol. 2 2006
Various Artists
Infinity Entertainment Group / American Beat Records 3:45
People Get Ready: 24 Soul Legends 2006
Various Artists
Wonderful Music 3:43
That's Soul [Golden Stars] 2006
Various Artists
Golden Stars 3:44
Beautiful Ballads 2006 Buddah / Columbia / Legacy 3:45
The Ultimate Love Collection [EMI Gold] 2006
Various Artists
EMI 3:45
Collections 2007 Legacy / Sony BMG 3:45
Love Will Find Its Own Way: The Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips 2007 Legacy 3:47
Midnight Train to Georgia: The Best of Gladys Knight and the Pips 2007 Music Club Records
Greatest Hits 1973-1985 2008 Varèse Sarabande
'70s Romantic Classics 2008
Various Artists
StarVista 3:44
Romancing the 70s: Lovin' You 2008
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:44
Playlist: The Very Best of Gladys Knight & the Pips 2009 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 0:00
Super Hits [2009] 2009 Sony Music Distribution / BMG / Sony BMG / Sony Music Entertainment 3:44
The Music of Gladys Knight & the Pips 2010 Buddha Records / Columbia / Legacy / SMG 3:45
Romancing the '70s 2010
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 0:00
Romantically Yours: Greatest Love of All 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:47
100 Hits: Just Be Good to Me
Various Artists
Demon Music Group / DMG TV 3:48
100 Hits: The Best Love Album
Various Artists
100 Hits / DMG / Sony Music 3:47
No Image
Various Artists
Disky
Romantically Yours
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:47
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro
The Greatest Love Songs of the '70s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:43