Friday, May 20, 2011

The Pips vs. Gladys Knight: "Every Beat of My Heart"



The Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending May 21, 1961, features the same song, essentially, making neck-and-neck, "twin-spin" debuts.

"Every Beat of my Heart" by the Pips (Vee Jay 386) entered the chart at #81, "Every Beat of my Heart" by Gladys Knight (Fury 1050) at #83.

In 1953, according to Wikipedia, Gladys formed a singing group, the Pips, with her brother Bubba, sister Brenda, and their cousins William and Eleanor Guest.  Joel Whitburn begs to differ; he indicates the group formed in 1952, when Gladys was years old.

She appeared on Ted Mack's Original Amateur when she was 7.

With a roster that included Dee Clark ("Raindrops"), Jerry Butler ("For Your Precious Love"), Gene Chandler ("Duke of Earl"), and the Dells ("Oh What a Night"), Vee Jay, rather than Fury Records, more likely had the wherewithal to promote its release.

Here are the week-by-week chart positions.  (The bold red numbers indicate "Star Performer" status, selections registering greatest upward progress from the previous week.)

The Pips.  (Vee Jay)
81, 63, 43, 21, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 6, 7, 13, 21, 37.  (13 weeks)

Gladys Knight.  (Fury)
83, 67, 57, 46, 45, 58, 60.  (7 weeks)

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