Monday, May 23, 2016


What's the best selling girl group in Billboard history (singles)?

Females wanting to be sexual slaves of Beyonce pant her name, pant her name.

But the Beehive has confused their damp panties with actual record sales yet again.

All the manly women
All the manly women.

No, Destiny's Child isn't number one.

They barely make the top three.

At number one it's Diana Ross and her Supremes.

TLC -- the talented group Destiny's Child tried (and failed) to copy -- is at number two

Who's right behind Destiny's Child?

A group with 21 top forty R&B hits and 16 top forty pop hits (including one song that charted twice).

Though overlooked by some, they deserve to be known by all: Ruth, June and Anita Pointer of the Pointer Sisters.

It wasn't always that line up.

June and Bonnie became the Pointer Sisters when they invited sister Anita to join them.

In 1972, they brought in sister Ruth and that's when they had their first hits ("Fairy Tale," "Yes We Can Can" and "Wang Dang Doodle").

But it's only after Bonnie leaves (1977) and the sister act becomes a trio that they achieve massive success ["He's So Shy," "Fire," "Automatic," "Slow Hand," "Dare Me," "Neutron Dance," "I'm So Excited," "Jump (for My Love)," etc].

The hits included "American Music" (number 16 pop, number 23 R&B) -- a song they weren't so crazy about then or since -- as oldest sister Ruth reveals in her new memoir STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER (written with Marshall Terrill).


And Ruth's not pulling any punches in this book.

She's got praise for Angela Y. Davis but none for Loretta Switt (like most of the cast of TV's M*A*S*H, Switt was a pain in the butt -- a detail that would have been long ago outed had that series aired during the internet age).

She also dishes on nasty Paul Anka for that matter.

Diana Ross, Cher, Bonnie Raitt, Muhammad Ali, Richard Pryor, Joe Namath, Burt Reynolds, Sammy Davis Jr. and others all get fond mentions.

And she shares the tale of when Bill Withers pulled a knife on James Brown.

If there's one flaw to the book, it's in the music.

At one point, after they're training a daughter to take June's place in the group, she remarks that, having sang with her sisters her whole life, she'd taken for granted how automatic the harmonies came.

And there's some of that in the chapters, taking for granted how these wonderful harmonies came about.

But there's so much to cover in 287 pages.

The drugs and the men, for example.

Ruth covers all of her marriages (including the first, albeit briefly).  But the real marriage problems are Bonnie and June's.

Both marry men who harm the group in different ways.

Bonnie's husband, for example, convinces her she is the group and to go solo.  (The Pointer Sisters have their first huge hit, the Bruce Springsteen written "Fire," after Bonnie leaves the group.)  Bonnie is the nemesis throughout the book -- despite the praise Ruth frequently offers her.

It's Bonnie, for example, who will use June's death to try to blackmail her way back into the group (having failed as a solo).

June's husband?

He thought he was running things.

He did ruin a few things.

For example, the Pointer Sisters were asked to sing on "We Are The World" (1985's massive charity single which featured Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper, Dionne Warwick, Paul Simon, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel, Ray Charles and others).

They were asked to sing.

They lost their solo in the song when June's husband started trying to boss people around and then stormed out with June after he was placed in a room with Jane Fonda and Ali MacGraw (among others) to watch the singing (those not singing were not allowed in the studio).

As a result, June's husband stormed out with June.

Instead of sharing a solo, Anita and Ruth sang backing vocals on the track.

It's an exciting read -- one well told.

And though we'd appreciate more on the music, the reality is that the book reads like a film.

The ups and downs, the betrayals and triumphs, STILL SO EXCITED: MY LIFE AS A POINTER SISTER would make a wonderful movie and offer four strong roles for African-American women.

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