Flashmag Digizine Edition Issue 107 July 2020 - Page 41

She also played herself in the 2010 Monte Hellman's romantic thriller film Road to Nowhere.

Bonnie Pointer often sang lead and was an essential member of the group through its early hits including “Yes We Can Can” and “Fairytale.” After Bonnie left in 1977 her sisters went on to have several mega-hits without her.

It was Bonnie, shortly after graduating high school, who first wanted to move away from singing gospel songs into clubs to pursue a professional singing career, to the chagrin of the conservative Pointer parents.

“The Pointer Sisters would never have happened had it not been for Bonnie,” Anita Pointer said in her statement. Said Anita Pointer in her press release following the death of her sister on June 8, 2020.

She convinced younger sister June to join her, and the two began doing gigs together as a duo in 1969. Eventually they’d enlist their two older sisters, who were already married with children, to join them.

The quartet brought unique fusion of funk, soul and 1940s-style jazz, scat and pop to their act, often dressing in a retro style that resembled their forerunners the Andrews Sisters. Anita said in an interview in the 90s, that the sisters at their beginnings often had to go to thrift stores to find stage outfits.

They worked as backup singers for Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs, Elvin Bishop and others before releasing their self-titled debut album in 1973, and the song “Yes We Can Can,” a funky anthem calling for unity and tolerance, became their breakout hit.

They followed up with “That’s A Plenty,” which featured an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz to gospel to pop. They even delved into country.

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The Pointer Sisters left to right June - Ruth - Bonnie below Anita Photograph: RB/Redferns

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