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Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story Paperback – October 7, 1998


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What If? by Randall Munroe
From the creator of the wildly popular webcomic xkcd, find hilarious and informative answers to important questions you probably never thought to ask. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (October 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786883715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786883714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,888,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Kirkus Reviews

Knight, of pop's Pips, offers an event-packed autobiography--from child gospel sensation through '70s superstardom to Vegas divahood--earnestly but with little verve. First achieving national attention at age eight, in 1952, on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, the Atlanta- born Knight was very soon thereafter singing on the ``Chitlin' Circuit'' of black nightclubs with an early incarnation of the Pips (all siblings and cousins). The Pips toured throughout the '50s with the likes of Jackie Wilson and Joe Tex, recording only briefly and unsuccessfully. Knight's first marriage, to her high-school sweetheart, collapsed because of his drug use; her father descended into mental illness and left the family. She indicates that by 1963 the Pips were big enough to have performers at the White House, but it wasn't until the mid-'60s that they signed with Motown, finally breaking through in 1967 with ``I Heard It Through the Grapevine.'' Knight is good on the subject of Motown's feudal business practices: Second-tier groups like the Pips would seldom get a crack at the in-house songwriters' best songs, and naive performers accepted company ``gifts'' that in fact were advances against royalties, keeping the artists in debt (and thus servitude) to Motown. Only on leaving Motown did the Pips achieve top stardom with a succession of hits. On the crises in her life--including a gambling addiction and two more failed marriages, most recently to the motivational speaker Les Brown--Knight is so intent on gleaning lessons that she usually fails to render the experiences themselves particularly vividly. Anecdotes of racism and (other people's) high jinks on the road are similarly lifeless. Perhaps more tellingly than she intends, Knight notes of the world of show business: ``I have seen it all, to be sure, but rarely participated in it.'' This distance comes through clearly in her memoir. (32 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Oh, just picked up the paperback to seeing her on an old 'Jeffersons' rerun (remember that). Loved this book! Gladys has always been a favorite of mine- that rich, flawless delivery underlined with down to earth truth and conviction- she is among the leading voices that brought soul music to the mainstream America in the 1960's.
I was mist intrigued by her honesty throughout the book, especially in speaking of her parenting of her children. I commended her for that. Her gambling addiction was another testament of how she overcame adversity and came out a winner, which was another source of inspiration for myself. I also really appreciated her honesty in relation to her tenure with Motown and the treatment they received while on the legendary label.
And then there was the dirt! What is the deal between she and Aretha? I always perceived that they would be good friends, especially since both encompass such mesmarizing, soulful voices.... I love Dionne, and I could not see her acting the way Patti portrayed her.
This is a inspirational, well written piece of work. I would recommend this purchase and much love and success to Ms. Knight for decades to come.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blackworm on October 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Gladys Knight's autobiography was not as compelling as Patti's DON'T BLOCK THE BLESSINGS, but make no bones about it, this lady has paid her dues for being the icon that she is, and the diva that she will always be. As a child performing on the TED MACK AMATEUR HOUR, a star was being groomed, but the pitfalls that she encountered while the Pips were being formed, from racism to the sexual attack, left a mark that made her stronger wtih each day that went by. The most interesting monents were during her discussion about how they were treated as a "second-tier" group when they brought Motown several hits. It seems that Berry Gordy and Diana Ross had other plans for the group, and the company made a few rules along the way on how they would be paid. Leaving Motown would be the biggest feather in their caps and the best part was when nobody looked back. She also clear up what went on behind the SISTERS IN THE NAME OF LOVE showcase, the "who discovered The Jackson Five" debate, and the dissolving of her three marriages. Quite long during her teenaged years, everything leads up to this moment, and never let it be said that Ms. Knight is not a survivor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
Gladys Knight did an exceptional job of revealing her life of pain and glory. She had me bumping into walls as I left work each day because I couldn't wait to get home to continue reading. I know that she is a gifted performer, but I now know that she is a gifted writer as well. This is a must read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Miss DTP on January 3, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I finished this 270 pg bio in only a few hrs. It was very readable but with not nearly enough info about one of the greatest divas. Diana Ross kicked them off a Motown Tour where they served as the opening act--they were THAT good way before they had a hit. Berry Gordy made them return to Detroit quickly!
I wished Gladys talked more about the problems she faced at Motown--the missing money, the second class treatment, and the lawsuit she and the Pips won against Mowtown. The switch from Motown to Buddah is also briefly discussed. Gladys Knight and the Pips were one of the few act who made it big after leaving Hitsville.
Gladys also BRIEFLY discusses her husbands,children and at the end of her bio-her gambling debt.
For those who want to know just a little about the diva..then this one is for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine Moore on August 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
I have always admired Gladys Knight enormously as an entertainer. Ever since hits such as "Neither one of Us" and "Midnight Train", my love for her music never waned. After all of these years, she is to be commended for her longevity in such a competitive industry.

As for the book, I enjoyed it so much that I read it within a 1-day period. Admittedly, after I read the prologue in which she gave an overview of her life, I was thinking "well, what else is there to know?" However, I quickly found the book to be quick-moving, enjoyable, and replete with lessons for living. She has had a very rich life in terms of both her ups and downs---and you'll likely be inspired by both.

Whenever I read biographical books, their historical references are usually illuminating. Gladys' book provides lots of insights into the singing and recording industry of old. I'm always fascinated by Motown stories anyway.

The book is well written with clarity that makes it flow smoothly; yet sophistication that sent me to the dictionary from time to time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By derrick Bogan on May 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
Oh, I just love Gladys and I just really enjoyed reading this book. I appreciate her for being so forthcoming with her experiences without losing any of her trademark, down home southern wit to guide the reader through each chapter. Her rifts with other performers struck me as interesting. You know, I can see, in also reading Aretha's memoir, where the two divas clash. Both ladies do have the tendency to act as if they started every musical trend and discovered everybody. Glady's account of the origin of "Midnight Train to Georgia" is totally false, as is her little conversation with Nat "King" Cole (Hon, Natalie was only maybe a year old). Nonetheless, her inside tips about the music business and juggling parenthood and the business i found very informative and useful, as i too, aspire to sing. I just love her so much and I loved this book. God Bless you Gladys.
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