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The Pointer Sisters

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West Oakland

The Pointer Sisters is an originally of four out of the West Oakland Church of God where their father was a preacher. Under management & production of David Rubinson & later Richard Perry, the sisters became a hugely successful act throughout the ’70s & ’80s, creating a two-and-a-half decades long career. Amongst the many hit tracks included “Jump (For My Love)”, “He’s So Shy”, “Happiness”, “Fairytale” and “Neutron Dance”. They had many record labels starting with their first failed single on Atlantic on through to long periods with Blue Thumb, Planet, rca, and later Motown and even SBK.

Bonnie Pointer and June Pointer first formed a secular singing duo in the late ’60s and began performing in clubs around the San Francisco Bay area; Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer later joined them. The Pointer Sisters hooked up with David Rubinson who was a record producer affiliated with Bill Graham. They would perform onstage with the flamboyant Sylvester of The Cockettes, and they’d done some work as background singers on recordings by Elvin Bishop, Boz Scaggs, Cold Blood and other San Francisco Bay Area groups.

Their big breakthrough was a cover of an Allen Toussaint composition originally recorded in 1970 by Lee Dorsey, the song was “Yes We Can Can” released by The Pointer Sisters in March 1973. The girls’ voices were added over funky backing tracks laid down with the help of Rubinson’s contacts like Tower of Power guitarist Willie Fulton.

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