Night & Day — The Pointer Sisters grew up in Oakland Calif., in the late 1960s, an incredible era for live music. Three sisters, June, Anita and Bonnie Pointer formed a trio in 1969, and released a series of singles that failed to chart.
In 1972, Ruth Pointer joined and the group began to achieve commercial success, including a Grammy in 1975 for “Fairytale,” which won for the Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
The Pointer Sisters appeared on the country charts again the following year with “Live Your Life Before You Die,” and shortly afterward Bonnie left to pursue a solo career.
The trio of June, Anita and Ruth achieved the greatest commercial success of any incarnation of the group, dominating the pop charts with songs like their cover version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Fire,” and upbeat songs like “Jump (For My Love)” and “I’m So Excited.”
The Pointer Sister’s diverse collection of songs grew out of the music they were exposed to in Oakland.
“There were lots of great clubs with live music. I remember seeing Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles and Little Richard. They all came through the area,” Ruth Pointer recalled during a phone interview earlier this week.
“We’ve always been very big fans of Motown artists like The Supremes, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye were the artists we grew up admiring. Then there was Aretha Franklin, not a Motown artist but she is a musical genius. That was what we heard a lot of when we were growing up.”
The Motown influence is evident in much of the group’s songs. It wasn’t something the group planned, it was organic.
“Today it is different how artists are developed, some of them from a very early age. It didn’t happen that way for us, we were singing in my dad’s church and there was music all around us. For me it was not something that I saw as training for a career, that part just happened.”