Thursday, June 20, 2024

RIP “Midnight Train to Georgia” Songwriter Jim Weatherly, Gladys Knight Says: “We were must made for each other”


Singer songwriter Jim Weatherly has died at age 77. He wrote Gladys Knight’s biggest hits of the early 70s, including the incredible songs “Neither One of Us” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.”

Weatherly also wrote “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” “Where Peaceful Waters Flow,” and many other hits for Gladys and the Pips as well as many other country stars.

In 2002, Weatherly won a landmark case against Universal Music Publishing for underpaying him on royalties for “Midnight Train.”

Gladys said in an interview just this past Saturday with Clive Davis on his Zoom pre-Grammy gala that the song had originally been titled “Midnight Train to Houston.” She said, “I’m from Georgia, and that’s where that train is going!”

“Neither One of Us” was Gladys and the Pips’ exit hit from Motown. They’d already left the label and moved to Buddah Records and scored with “Midnight Train.” Someone at Motown went back and looked at their most recent album, discovered “Neither One of Us” just sitting there, and rushed it out to radio. The effect was that in 1973, Gladys Knight and the Pips — whose big Motown successes were in the late 60s — were revived big time, mostly thanks to Jim Weatherly.

Gladys wrote on Twitter: “We were just made for each other. We grew our lives together. I’m gonna miss him terribly and love him always.”

Here’s Jim and country star Lynn Anderson (“Rose Garden”) performing “Midnight Train”:

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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