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Remembering June Pointer

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June Pointer, youngest of the singing Pointer Sisters, died Tuesday of cancer at UCLA Medical Center. In addition to singing on the group's major albums, including lead vocal on the song "Jump (For my Love)," she co-wrote songs such as "I'm So Excited," which exemplified the group's capacity for joyous naughtiness. The Pointer Sisters' music spanned genres: they could sing rock, R&B, old-fashioned jazz, and country all on the same album and still have a consistent sound.

One of this correspondent's earliest musical memories is of the Pointer Sisters singing "Yes We Can Can" on Sesame Street. It turns out, according to Wikipedia, that they also sang the famous Sesame Street animated pinball counting song. You know it; sing along: "One two three FOUR five six seven eight NINE ten ELEVEN TWELVE!" This was in the same era that Ray Charles appeared and sang "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and Johnny Cash sang "Three Feet High and Rising" (and a lesser-known ditty called "Nasty Dan" as a duet with Oscar the Grouch.) Great company -- hm, are we due for a Pointer Sisters movie next?

The Pointer Sisters' musical legacy still shows in LA: their song "Neutron Dance" was featured in Beverly Hills Cop, and we've recently heard "Automatic" played at Brass Monkey. We've also bought their records Retrospect and Break Out at Amoeba Music. Still, the Pointer Sisters have been taken for granted a bit in recent years. As sorry as we are for the loss of June, it would be nice to see people giving her and her sisters plenty of recognition.

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Photo from Pointer Sisters fansite.