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Lead singers are overrated...
August 20, 2009 9:08 AM   Subscribe

Give the backup singers some! Ladies and gentlemen, it's... The Pips!

OK, so here's the tunes with Gladys... I Heard It Through the Grapevine and Midnight Train to Georgia, the latter featuring 1974 cutting-edge video split-screen technology!
posted by flapjax at midnite (24 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Damn, that's funnier than it should be. Thanks, flappy.
posted by item at 9:12 AM on August 20, 2009


Tee hee hee!
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM on August 20, 2009


Heh. I was expecting another digital manipulation project in the same vein as the "Pet Sounds" without instruments thing. Pryor was a funny guy.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 AM on August 20, 2009


You gotta be ready when someone springs the "Okay, I'll be Gladys Knight, and you be the Pips" game at you:

Leavin!
Leavin on the midnight traaain!
Goin' back to find!
Whenever he takes that ride, guess who's gonna be right by his side!
I know you will!
Leavin on that midnight train to Georgia, whoo whoo!
Live in his world...
Her! World! Is His! His and hers alone!
posted by Spatch at 9:19 AM on August 20, 2009


Excellent find. I somehow thought this was from SNL, but I think I saw it in first-run, way back when. Always loved the idea, and it still laugh whenever I think about it.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:21 AM on August 20, 2009


Fucking great, flapjax. Thanks for posting this. When I was just a kid (5? 6?) I caught a rerun of this version of Midnight Train and decided that there was nothing cooler than the Pips. My adoration for them has never waned. They are flat out cool. To this day I can't hear any GKatP song without singing the backup parts and inventing Pip choreography. I wish I were a Pip.
posted by barrett caulk at 9:23 AM on August 20, 2009


Spatch, I am so fucking ready.
posted by barrett caulk at 9:25 AM on August 20, 2009


Delightful. Thanks for posting!
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on August 20, 2009


Nice find, flapjax. And barrett, who among us does not aspire to Pipdom? For the record, I would also be okay with being a Shondell, a Wave, a Poor Boy, or a Modal Node*.



*Quietly certain that this sentence has never been constructed before.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:54 AM on August 20, 2009



Thanks—i've been looking for that for a while!
posted by feistycakes at 9:56 AM on August 20, 2009


I definitely saw it on SNL.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:18 AM on August 20, 2009


I remember this one, too, Flap. Thanks as always for the multimedia archeology.

You might also remember this 1974 Doonesbury Sunday comic on the same topic.
posted by Herodios at 10:24 AM on August 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Kirth and Rancher, I have a similar (probably false) memory.

Try this: which actors played in "And The Pips" if it was on SNL?
posted by Herodios at 10:33 AM on August 20, 2009


maybe it was something in the Tang, but i distinctly remember it too, with the real Pips and Don Pardo saying, "Laaadies and gentlemen, ... and the Pips!"
posted by aquanaut at 11:17 AM on August 20, 2009


Herodios, I had that Doonesbury comic on my refrigerator door for quite some time! I still think "let's make it mellow" when I hear "Midnight Train..." on the radio and the "whoo-whoo!" part is approaching.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:01 PM on August 20, 2009



I still think "let's make it mellow" when I hear "Midnight Train..." on the radio

Or: "beats workin'."

You might be interested to know that Minus Knight, the Pips recorded two albums for Casablanca: 1977's At Last...the Pips and 1978's Bunny Sigler-produced Callin' -- both of which suffered from inadequate promotion and did very little commercially.

Here's Anything from Callin', the only clip I could find online from these two albums.

So there really is an And The Pips discography. Collect 'em all!
posted by Herodios at 1:03 PM on August 20, 2009


Try this: which actors played in "And The Pips" if it was on SNL?

I couldn't find anything involving "Pips" over at snltranscripts.jt.org, which features an obsessively comprehensive list of nearly every sketch in every episode. Pryor appeared in the first season, but they didn't do it then.
posted by Spatch at 3:31 PM on August 20, 2009


Looks like I may have been definitely wrong. It's probably because John Belushi was on that same Richard Pryor show, and that I was used to seeing Pryor on SNL, that I remembered as being SNL.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:04 PM on August 20, 2009


Kirth and Rancher, I have a similar (probably false) memory. Try this: which actors played in "And The Pips" if it was on SNL?

I never meant to infer that my memory was at all correct -- if it sounded that way, it was just me not phrasing it well. I had totally forgotten that Pryor even had a show, but the memory of that sketch stuck because it was so damn funny.

I'd like to see some more of the Pryor show stuff -- I've always admired him.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:14 PM on August 20, 2009


I thought I saw it on the Flip Wilson Show, so there you go.

Set-up was that the budget didn't run to Gladys, but....
posted by IndigoJones at 5:33 PM on August 20, 2009


Yeah, you'll probably hate me for this, but my mind has been irreparably poisoned by the California Raisins version. Because I secretly hoped that the Raisins would cover Spoonman as "Pruneman"...
posted by Tube at 7:08 PM on August 20, 2009


A superstar... but he didn't get far!

Also,

Neither one of us!..... Neither one of us!...... Neither one of us!...... goooood.... byyyyye
posted by evilcolonel at 9:46 PM on August 20, 2009


Thanks, this was great.
posted by Wolof at 12:00 AM on August 21, 2009


YES someone linked to the DOONESBURY STRIP my life is now COMPLETE

OK, put dooowwwwnnn the coffee and back away slowly. What I meant was: Thank you, Herodios!
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:09 AM on August 21, 2009


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