William DeVaughn had saved a couple of hundred bucks and wanted to record some songs he had written. So he went over to Philadelphia's Omega Sound Inc. and cut Be Thankful For What You Got plus a couple of other songs with MFSB's rhythm section backing him up.
Those songs were issued by Roxbury Records in 1974 on an album entitled Be Thankful For What You Got which became a million-seller chart topper. I suppose that doesn't happen very often to a singer-songwriter coming from nowhere.
Before leaving music business DeVaughn cut a new version of the tune in 1980. It's pretty much like the original but it's more upbeat and it has a nice kick drum making it perfect for the dancefloor.