Singers from Oakland. All Pointer sisters for real, by birth (i.e. not a scam like The Walker Brothers or The Partridge Family) - Ruth, Bonnie, Anita, and June. They were highly eclectic, back in the early 1970s, but were perhaps best known for their 40s-retro wardrobe and period novelties, like "Henry Jones", "Wang Dang Doodle", and Dizzy Gillespie's "Salt Peanuts". There was also an instant rhythm and blues classic, "Yes We Can Can", penned and produced by Allen Toussaint and featuring The Meters, and a country hit, "Fairy Tale". Eclectic, but with mastery of genres, not jills-of-all-trades.

That went out the window. They popped in and souled out. Bonnie left in 1978 for Motown; she had a hit with a cover of Holland-Dozier-Holland's "Heaven Must Have Sent You" (The Elgins, 1966); it came in Regular (the 60s "Motown Sound") and Disco flavors - the disco one was, arguably, better, but Bonnie's next album was all reverent Motown covers, the better to cash in. The remaining three signed with Richard Perry's Planet Records, and recorded the sort of MOR slop that made Perry famous. Bruce Springsteen's "Fire" was a hit, but, at best, it only made you want to hear some real Springsteen.

From there, it was a mix of the ballads and hi-tech bombastic happy-face poppery, with the all the "best" musicians in Hollywood and all the newest studio toys: "I'm So Excited", "Slow Hand", "He's So Shy", "Automatic", "Jump", etc. Whatever. This stuff is the 80s to some people. Feh. Now on the nostalgia circuit and other such venues. They remain great singers.

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