I’ve always liked Gladys Knight. I don’t know why, exactly. Maybe it’s because her voice is just so cool. Maybe it’s because “Midnight Train to Georgia” is so catchy. Maybe it’s because she, for some reason, has always reminded me of one of my best friends’ moms–the one who always gave me a hug when I came through her door and made about the best lasagna in the world.
But my affection for “The Empress of Soul” was given more tangible backbone after I had the opportunity to chat with her a bit last week.
Knight was part of a Christian-media conference call in support of Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself. We had a chance to talk with lots of the stars from the film, including the ever-elusive Perry himself. But it was Knight who made the biggest impact on me. In fact, she sounded like she could work for Plugged In.
She talked about standing up for your faith: “I can tell you from this point right here I have a God, I believe in Him, and my Savior Jesus Christ. I profess that from the bottom of my heart. … You don’t have to believe it or embrace it if you don’t want to, but I won’t be ashamed or afraid to say that.”
She talked about raising our kids right: “I think the more they hear about the passion of spirit that we should have, and the love of family that we should have, the love between a man and a woman that should be defined (because I think most people have got it all confused), the better off we are gonna be as a society, and definitely with our children because … they are just as confused as they can be. They are off on some other track, and you are getting them younger and younger and younger doing these bizarre things. We need to stop along the way and say, ‘Why is that? Have you taught them anything about the Spirit, have you taught them anything about the Gospel, have you tried to be an example and a light to them so they will have something to follow?”
She even talked about the power and influence of music, telling us, “When they make bad music it makes you go another [bad] way, so it must be powerful. When they start talking about sexual healing and that kind of stuff it starts turning people’s minds to that and their spirits to that.” She added, “We better be careful [with] what we are singing and we better be careful with how it is presented, because we can ruin a nation or change one with the kind of music we allow to be presented.”
Adam Holz, our in-house musical expert, couldn’t have said it better. Or, at least, he couldn’t have said it more melodiously.