They began their music careers singing in their father’s church. Bonnie and June formed a duo called Pointers, A Pair. Anita soon joined the group and the duo became a trio. They started out touring and performing as well as supplying backing vocals for such artists as Boz Scaggs, Grace Slick, Sylvestor James, and Elvin Bishop. Ruth joined the group in late 1972 and the trio evolved into a quartet. The Pointer Sisters released their self-titled debut album in 1973; a funk cover of ‘Yes We Can Can’ peaked at #11 on the pop charts. The follow-up albums ‘That’s a Plenty’ and ‘Steppin” likewise did well. ‘That’s a Plenty’ beget the hit country song ‘Fairytale,’ which reached #13 on the pop charts and won a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1975. The song ‘How Long (Betcha Got a Chick on the Side)’ from the album ‘Steppin” was a #1 R&B radio hit in 1975. Bonnie left the group in 1977 and the band subsequently became a trio.
In 1978 the Pointer Sisters scored a massive hit with their sultry cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Fire,’ which soared to #2 on the pop charts. The Pointer Sisters enjoyed a steady succession of vibrant and stirring hit songs throughout the 80s: ‘He’s So Shy,’ ‘Slow Hand,’ ‘I’m So Excited,’ ‘Automatic,’ ‘Jump (for My Love),’ ‘Neutron Dance,’ and ‘Dare Me.’ In 1985 ‘Jump (for My Love)’ won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and ‘Automatic’ won a Grammy Award for Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices. The group received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in September, 1994 and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2005. The Pointer Sisters appear along with Richard Pryor in the hilarious comedy smash ‘Carwash’ and hosted their own TV special ‘The Pointer Sisters: Up All Nite’ in 1987. Among the films that feature songs by the Pointer Sisters on the soundtrack are ‘Summer Lovers,’ ‘Night Shift,’ ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ ‘Perfect,’ ‘Children of a Lesser God,’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash,’ ‘Stakeout,’ ‘Action Jackson,’ ‘Working Girl,’ ‘American Heart,’ ‘Donnie Brasco,’ ‘Big Mama’s House,’ ‘Ali,’ ‘Maid in Manhattan,’ and ‘Love Actually.’ June Pointer sadly died of cancer at age 52 on April 11, 2006. The Pointer Sisters continue to perform in concerts all over the world; the current band members are Ruth and Anita along with Ruth’s daughter Issa.