Gladys Knight & the Pips – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)


Miss Gladys Knight


Listen – Gladys Knight & the Pips – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – MP3″

Greetings all.

The middle of the week is here – at last – and I’m in the mood for something meat and taters funky.
But first, a message…
If you check the comments to the post on Funky16Corners Radio v.56, the one with the big Barack Obama poster at the end – you might notice some one trollish took the time to stop by and drop a taste of the Republican talking points into the mix.
Here’s the deal.
Over the years that I’ve been doing this blog, I haven’t made a secret of my political leanings, nor have I made it a major topic of conversation. I’ve mused on politics from time to time, and often those comments have been met (with varying degrees of civility, this is after all the interwebs) by folks that like their soul and funk blogging politics-free.
This year I’ve mentioned the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama twice, and I have to tell you now that I’ll definitely do it again (and again) until he gets elected.
Here’s why.
These are serious times. The country I happen to live in has been in the grips of a SERIOUSLY fucked up bunch of hacks, who have devastated our domestic economy (a situation I am intimately acquainted with) gotten us involved in Vietnam MK2 on two fronts in the Middle East and Asia (with the many thousands of dead and injured on both sides), and pretty much destroyed any international goodwill we might have stored up over the years.
As a result, the election coming up in a few short months is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. We here in the US have a choice between a tool of the establishment who is clearly – despite spinning like a top – intent on maintaining a disastrous status quo, and a clear headed, thoughtful, and intelligent alternative who is likely to put the brakes on our national downslide, wrest control of our country from the oligarchs and plutocrats and at least attempt to restore a kind of socio-political equilibrium.
This is not – as the Rove-ian propaganda has suggested – a cult of personality. What it is, is a large portion of our population, many of whom have been victimized (and I count myself in that number) by the Bush regime and the corporate robber barons it has aided and abetted for eight years, who are focused on a real alternative. Barack Obama is a candidate who offers for the first time in many years, a real chance that our voices may finally be heard above the storm of greed, religious lunacy and ignorance that has held sway for so long.
I have no illusions that Obama is anything more than a man with an idea. The difference this time is the value of the idea in question, and the likelihood that it will improve our lives.
Those that would sit by and mock the fact that Obama has inspired so many to get involved, or caused us to hope that our long national nightmare may be close to an end, are a reminder about how much is really at stake here. The world that they – with the help of Bush, Cheney and their ilk – have created will not stand. The choice we have this November is whether we will allow the disintegration of our way of life to continue, or if we will take a step to put things back on track.
Funky16Corners has always been about soul, in direct reference to the musical genre that carries that name, and in the larger sense as well. Soul music (and R&B, funk, jazz and the blues) is at its core – both literally and figuratively – the sound of freedom.
Freedom from misery, freedom from oppression (of all kinds), freedom to express our deepest emotions and to transcend the boundaries that life and circumstance place around us, internally and externally.
This election, and the candidacy of Barack Obama is also about freedom. Freedom from those that have hijacked our country, defiled the oath they took to defend our constitution and have allowed those that consider working men and women – and their families – to be just another expendable resource, to thrive.
Tonight I’ll be adding an Obama icon to the sidebar, with a link to his campaign and fundraising, and it will remain there until (hopefully) he gets elected in November.
If you’re not registered to vote – or you someone who isn’t – get out there and get registered (it’s not too late). If you can afford to send a few bucks to the Obama campaign, do so (I have, and probably will again).
Ultimately, I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, though I know that it might, but in the end some things are more important, and this election is one of them.
That said, the tune I bring you today carries a message, in the lyrics and in the abstract sense of the funk. It was something I grabbed during a flea market dig with the man DJ Prestige, and it was a pleasant surprise indeed.
I’ve always been a fan of Gladys Knight and the Pips. I’d go as far as to say that Knight may be the greatest female singer to record for the Motown organization (up there with Martha Reeves) and along with the Pips she recorded some very funky music. I have been largely ignorant of their 1970s recordings, a period that I long assumed to have seen a softening of their sound with a preponderance of ballads and mellower soul.
I was – of course – incorrect.
It was out their in the dusty expanse of the spot that I pulled a copy of GK & the Ps 1973 ‘All I Need Is Time’ LP out of a busted cardboard box. It was the kind of crate that looked like it was minutes from surrendering its contents to the elements. Had I come along an hour later, it’s entirely possible that the demons of grit and heat warp might have preceded me, and I wouldn’t be delivering this tasty bit of funk to you.
There on the end of side two was a cover of Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)’.
‘Whoa!’ says I.
Then I get the record home, drop the needle on the wax and it was ‘Whoa!’ all over agin (sic) as Miss Knight and her men prove that even in 1973 they weren’t above getting down and funky.
The song, which had been a Top 40 hit for Sly three years earlier, retains its punch, with the added benefit of Gladys’ powerful instrument and the Pips’ tight, tight harmonies.
Very cool.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back with some more funk later in the week.

Peace (I really mean it…)

PSS Don’t forget to head over to Iron Leg for a new mix of Beatle soundalikes!

PSSS Check out Paperback Rider (uodated last night) as well.

26 Responses to “Gladys Knight & the Pips – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)”

  1. j epstein Says:

    Obamalama, obamaloo!

  2. funky16corners Says:

    Or Shout Obama-lama…

  3. Groovin' Dan Says:

    Right on, Larry. This is not the time to for any of us lapse into apathy or easy cynicism; those are precisely the things (along with fear, of course) that have allowed these amoral rat bastards to gain such a destructive stranglehold upon our great country.

    (And hey, if you wanted to drop a few politically-oriented funk and soul jams over the next few months, I for one would not complain.)

  4. mayor mccheese Says:

    Another great cut off that LP is a cover of “Heavy Makes You Happy (Sha-Na-Boom Boom)”.

    The song was originally released by Bobby Bloom in 1970. It was soon after covered by the Staple Singers in 1971 and became a hit record.

    The Gladys Knight version from 1973 is the funkiest by far, though, thanks to the addition of congas and wah-wah guitar.

  5. funky16corners Says:

    That is an outstanding idea and one that I completely zoned on. To the crates!!!

  6. funky16corners Says:

    Mayor McC
    I had no idea that Bobby Bloom did the OG of ‘Heavy Makes You Happy’. I’ll have to look for that one.

  7. a tart Says:

    Bring It! I’ve kept up with your blog for a bit lately but you’re on top of my radar screen now! Funk and soul music is and *always* has been about a serious engagement with what’s goin on in our society and don’t you dare let us down on what you think that should be! xoxoxo!

  8. Lion Says:

    Big Ups
    Sampled linked on Beat Breakout (

  9. Ed Says:

    I’m a Brit and let me tell you this election is about more than America. The world can’t take 8 more of Bush or a Bush proxy.

    I also recognise that a great orator doesn’t necessarily make a great President but surely the reverse holds good too. A poor orator doesn’t necessarily make a good President either, (boy we’ve learnt that the hard way!). Thing is, the great orator more than likely has a brain which would be a useful asset in President.

    We just have to hope Obama stays safe so there’s hope for both America and the rest of the world.

  10. Paul Says:

    I know it’s off topic, but the Washington Post printed an obit for Clea Bradford today:

  11. JB Says:

    Skip the politics, Larry.

  12. Chris A Says:

    Keep on Larry – the world needs to know that not all U.S. citizens think and want to act like Bush loks to most of the world … you are right about the deficit in the goodwill account … it takes a bit of explaining to my friends here in South Africa that there are in fact some very nice people who come from the USA. PS thanks for the great writing and the great music – a conscious mix would be lovely! Chris A

  13. funky16corners Says:

    Thanks for the link to the Clea Bradford obit. I got a few e-mails last week that she had passed, but was unable to confirm. I’ll make sure I post a tribute on Friday.

  14. Tony C Says:

    Larry you seem to have this uncanny knack of picking tunes by artists that I am into at present.Gladys Knight has without doubt one of the finest female soul singers ever IMHO. Last night I picked up “Stop and get a hold of yourself” A finer bit of Northern soul you will not hear!!
    Check it out on Youtube.
    All the best Tony.

  15. FunkinSoulicious Says:

    I’m not usually prone to punditry, but this post really spoke to me. I think, Funkycorners, that you are right on the ONE! Except that you may have even understated the case. Funk, soul, R&B, blues, jazz, reggae, dub, gospel, even rock’n roll (hail, hail!) all originate in a history of racial oppression that locked millions of people in chains, both literal and figurative, and dragged them across an ocean only to face hundreds of years worth of domination and servitude. This sonic art chronicles the dignity, humanity, faith, creativity, and prophetic vision of African Americans as well as all other globally dispersed peoples of African descent (arm in arm with the brothers and sisters still living on THE continent) as it uses “black metaphysical grace” (to quote Paul Gilroy) to erode racist ideologies and practices and build a beloved community. Whether a song is explicitly political is beside the point, these forms of music *implicitly* critique systems of racial domination and engage in the struggle for freedom.

    This election is also about freedom, and let us not forget the ways in which racism, structural inequalities in education and the legal system, and the prison-industrial complex have rendered so many Americans (and disproportionally more Black Americans) un-free. This election is also about race, and, as such, the music and the election cannot be disentangled. Until African Americans are granted first-class citizenship, which includes the right to hold the nation’s highest office, America has not fulfilled its obligation to uphold the creed that “all men [and women] are created equal.”

    Black America is America, and until the national commitment to the Black community and its struggle goes beyond an adoration for the sounds it makes, one cannot consider him/herself as a true disciple of soul. I support the political agenda of Funkycorners because it refuses to ignore African Americans’ contributions to whatever righteousness still remains after 8 years of bumbling ignorance in the same way that millions of the poorest Americans are ignored from the 9th Ward to the South Side of Chi. Keep on Keepin’ on, in the words of Mr. Mayfield.

  16. Tim Says:

    I’m with you on the politico tip, Larry. And it’s funny that I’m reading this post while listening to “There’s a riot going on”, specifically the “version” of “Thank You”. So, I best be checking this Gladys cover once the CD’s through, as I’m unfamiliar with the cover version.

  17. chuffinghog Says:

    Hi Larry, and thanks from another Brit who is deeply worried about the US Presidential election. The result doesn’t just affect ordinary people in the USA, but right across the western world.

    It been said that when the USA sneezes, Britain catches a cold and when the USA went to what has proved to be a costly and less than justified war, our British soldiers, sailors and airmen were (and still are) right in there among the fighting and among the casualties.

    My fervent hope for regime change starts and ends in the USA.

    As for the links between black music and politics, the post by FunkinSoulicious said it far better than I could ever hope to.

  18. GG Says:

    Oh yeah brother, Obama-lama (fa-fa-fa!) 🙂

  19. funky16corners Says:

    FunkinSoulicious – Right on and well said!

    GG – That’s a good one!


  20. Doris Says:

    Here Here!!

  21. chuck Says:

    Great post Larry, I am down with everything you saud, and why you said it. I am primarily involved in the blues scene, though much less these days than when I had a small label years ago–but one of my ongoing battles has been with some blues discussion groups who refuse to allow political posts, because they claim they are not relevant. HUH? Wtf, is what I always ask myself (and the powers that be), there is nothing more relevant to the roots of the music, and while they claim to be interested in the roots/beginnings of the blues, it is clear they (most, not all) only are interested in the low hanging fruit, and only the fruit with no bruises or worms, not the real roots. Hell, for decades 78s came with the words “race record” printed on the label. They weren’t there to help the black folks ID the record==but rather put there so anglos would not accidently purchase them. God only knows what that would have led to,,,and earlier version of Elvis perhaps?

    Anyway, recently I was inspired by Barack to write my first song, as a tribute to MLK’s Dream, and how Barack’s (and many other Americans of ALL colors) Dream was one and the same. So I put together a band of local DFW (and a couple of Austin folks), called them the Democrats Of Soul, went into the studio and recorded it. Everyone who likes it feel free to download it, share it, or whatever, that’s what it’s for…and like the song says, If You Don’t Dream, It Can’t Come True, and I am dreaming as hard as I can that the Dems sweep the elections in a land slide!
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  22. funky16corners Says:

    Right on, and I dig that song too! Get it to the Obama campaign.

  23. RATES Says:

    I loved, love and will always love the Sylvester Stewart version as well.
    It’s phat!
    Looking forward to hearing this version I have never heard before.

  24. essentiallyeclectic Says:

    great version! respect to funky16corners for consistantly posting up great music! have a look at my blog at
    and link to it if you like it!

  25. maxwell Says:

    nice tune. For those who don’t know about the problems in this nation, they probably aren’t gonna figure it out. Take no shorts though — especially on your OWN BLOG.

  26. Vincent the Soul Chef Says:

    I know I’m a little behind on the reading here, but again I MUST echo your sentiments…

    and to the haters (or the McSame fans), I say FUKKEM!!!!!!

    For the record, I know I probably missed your birthday so I say…

    “…you say it’s your birthday…?”

    If I didn’t miss it then have a great day!!!

    Peace and blessings

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