The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)
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The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)

keberoxu 27 Jun 20 - 01:13 PM
leeneia 27 Jun 20 - 02:25 PM
keberoxu 28 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM
keberoxu 29 Jun 20 - 01:30 PM
keberoxu 29 Jun 20 - 01:44 PM
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Subject: Salute to the Pointer Sisters
From: keberoxu
Date: 27 Jun 20 - 01:13 PM

Only two Pointer Sisters are alive today,
since a second Pointer Sister died this year.
June Pointer passed away over ten years ago,
followed by Bonnie Pointer this year, 2020.
As fate would have it, they were the two youngest
in the quartet of sisters;
Ruth and Anita, the two older sisters, still survive today.

Do you realize that, besides their 1980's hits,
they got started in the early 1970's?
That is when I first saw them, in an appearance on television,
on Flip Wilson's variety show.
Here is a clip from that broadcast.

The Pointer Sisters sing a medley

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Subject: RE: The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Jun 20 - 02:25 PM

Thanks for the link, keb. That was fun to watch.

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Subject: RE: The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)
From: keberoxu
Date: 28 Jun 20 - 10:39 AM

Here is a link to the New York Times obituary for Bonnie Pointer.

Bonnie Pointer, a Founder of Sisters' Vocal Group, Dies at 69
She started the Pointer Sisters with her siblings but left them to pursue a solo career before they went on to score hit after hit in the 1980s.


Bonnie Pointer, who was one of the founding siblings of the Pointer Sisters, the vocal group that built an eclectic career in the 1970s mixing funk, retro jazz and country, but who left the band before its pop reinvention in ths 1980s, died on Monday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 69.
The cause was cardiac arrest, her sister Anita Pointer said.

In their first phase, starting in the early 1970s, the Pointer Sisters were a foursome with a dynamic, genre-crossing style. They sang in crisp, close harmonies and dabbled in scat vocals, and they wore 1940s fashions with a sense of thrift-store chic. Admiring critics called them a mix between the Andrews Sisters and the Supremes.

The sisters, who grew up in Oakland, Calif., honed their vocal skills as children at the West Oakland Church of God, where their father was the pastor. Bonnie and June, the two youngest sisters, began performing in 1969 under the name The Pointers -- A Pair.

In a phone interview, Anita Pointer said she quit her job as a legal secretary after seeing Bonnie and June onstage in San Francisco. "I saw them at the Fillmore West, and I lost my mind," she said, adding that Bonnie was "the catalyst" in starting their musical career.

Renamed the Pointer Sisters, the three began working as backup singers. Mingling with the San Francisco-area rock scene, they sang with acts like Boz Scaggs, Grace Slick and the gender-bending pioneer Sylvester, and they were briefly signed to Atlantic Records. Their singles for that label failed to chart, although one 1972 B-side, "Send Him Back," has come to be considered a minor funk classic.

Joined by their sister Ruth, the group, now a quartet, signed with the progressive label Blue Thumb, where they thrived. Their debut album, called simply "The Pointer Sisters" (1973), featured a musky take on Allen Toussaint's unity anthem "Yes We Can Can" as well as a rapid-fire version of "Cloudburst," a staple of the jazz vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross's repertoire. "Yes We Can Can" went to no. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

Bonnie Pointer distinguished herself as a songwriter as well. "Fairytale," written by Bonnie and Anita for the group's 1974 album, "That's A Plenty," was a melancholy country break-up ballad that brought the group the first of its three Grammy Awards, for best country performance by a duo or group.

Bonnie was also one of the credited writers for "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)," from 1975, one of the Pointer Sisters' best-loved funk tracks, which was later sampled by the female rap group Salt-N-Pepa.

She left the group in the late 1970s and signed with Motown; she also married Jeffrey Bowen, a producer there. Her two albums for that label were heavy with disco remakes of 1960s Motown singles, like the Four Tops' "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" with Ms. Pointer recording most of the vocal parts herself. The most successful in this formula was "Heaven Must Have Sent You," which went to no. 11 in 1979.

"I'm the kind of person who likes to do adventurous, new things," Ms. Pointer told Blues & Soul Magazine in 1979. "It's got to be a challenge for me to go forward, 'cause I don't like to be stuck into just one thing."

By that time, the Pointer Sisters had begun to reinvent themselves as a trio, with a closer focus on the pop and rock mainstream. Their version of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" went to no. 2 in early 1979, and for the first half of the 1980s the group was a phenomenon. "He's So Shy" (1980), "Jump (For My Love)" (1984), "I'm So Excited" (1984) and "Neutron Dance" (1985) were ubiquitous hits that presented the group as sassy, earthy dance-pop queens who had seen it all.

In 1985, the Pointer Sisters won two more Grammys: best pop performance by a duo or group, for "Jump," and best vocal arrangement, for "Automatic."

Patricia Eva Pointer was born in Oakland on July 11, 1950, to Elton and Sarah (Salis) Pointer. Her mother was also a minister. A family friend called the girl Bunny; Bonnie herself adjusted that to create her own nickname, Anita said.

Besides Anita, she is survived by her sister Ruth and her brothers Aaron and Fritz Pointer. Her marriage to Mr. Bowen ended in divorce. June Pointer died of cancer in 2006 at 52.

Bonnie Pointer released two more albums after leaving Motown -- "If the Price is Right" (1984) and "Like a Picasso" (2011) -- but never found the same success she had enjoyed in the Pointer Sisters. In 2011, she was arrested on charges of possession of crack cocaine.

But Anita said they had remained close, and this year she and Bonnie released "Feels like June" in tribute to their sister.

Bonnie's voice in the original groups' four-part harmonies, Anita said, was essential but hard to pinpoint.
"Bonnie was that magic note," Anita Pointer said, "that no one could ever find."

-- June 6, 2020

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Subject: RE: The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 01:30 PM

The four Pointer Sisters were four out of six children,
as they also have two brothers.

In 2006, when June Pointer, the youngest of the sisters, became terminally ill and died,
brother Fritz Pointer spoke at some length to the press.

Here's the article.

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Subject: RE: The Pointer Sisters (vocal group)
From: keberoxu
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 01:44 PM

If a live performance today is billed as "The Pointer Sisters,"
most likely what you see on stage is
oldest sister Ruth Pointer,
her daughter Issa (whose father was Dennis Edwards of the Temptations),
and her granddaughter Sadako Pointer.
So, if not the Pointer Sisters,
then the Pointer family.

Here's an interview with Ruth Pointer,
after June had died
but when Bonnie was still alive.

Ruth Pointer-Sayles, interview, 2017

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