While writing my post reviewing the film 20 Feet From Stardom about the anonymous backup singers to the famous singers, I recalled that I used to think that for someone with limited musical ability like myself but yet thought that it would be fun to perform, the role of backup singer seemed ideal. It seemed like all it required was the ability to sway and clap while occasionally singing something. A cushy gig, it looked like.
Of course, that was crazy thinking. Being a backup vocalist is hard work and requires as much singing ability as the featured name and even more dancing skills.
Most of the time, we watch only the lead singer and do not notice much the backup performers. But on The Richard Pryor Show, Pryor decided to correct that by having the Pips perform on his show without Gladys Knight to see what it would look like. Pretty funny.