Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett Inspired ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’

Married American actors Farrah Fawcett (then known as Farrah Fawcett-Majors) (left) and Lee Majors pose together as they attend a party for ABC-TV screen celebrities, June 1971
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The song “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys Knight & the Pips tells the tale of an actor who fails to make it big in Los Angeles and decides to take the midnight train back to Georgia. Of course, the song could be inspired by the many people who failed to become a big star in Hollywood but it was actually inspired by two stars who did make it big: Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett.

85-year-old Lee Majors recently opened up about the song and how his life inspired it. At the time, Majors was married to ’70s star Farrah Fawcett (they were married from 1973 until 1982). Songwriter Jim Weatherly gained inspiration from a photo call with the couple.

31st August 1978: Gladys Knight And The Pips (left to right) Merald 'Bubba' Knight, Edward Patten and William Sweet

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Majors explained, “I had a friend that I’d play flag football with on the weekends, back when I was trying to get in the business [Weatherly]. One day he called the house. I don’t know whether I [or Farrah] answered, but I think I said, ‘She’s taking the midnight flight to Houston,’ and that was a true statement. [A few weeks later] He had his guitar with him and he played that song — he called it ‘Midnight Plane to Houston,’ and it’s on an album that he put out [in 1973].”

Lee Majors and Farrah Fawcett sighted on February 1, 1976 at Le Ristorante in Beverly Hills, California

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The song was later changed to better suit Gladys Knight and the Pips after they proclaimed that they “don’t really go to Houston and really don’t like to fly!” Weatherly revealed before he died in 2021 “It was really a relatively easy song to write, because I actually used Lee and Farrah as a mental movie in my mind about a girl who comes to L.A. to make it, and she struggles and then goes back, and the guy she falls in love with goes back with her. Of course, that wasn’t their story, but it made an interesting little song.” The song ended up winning a Grammy Award in 1974 and hit No. 1 on the pop and R&B charts.

Listen to it below!

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May 2019

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