Feb 6, 2016

RhoDeo 1605 Grooves

Hello, Maurice White died yesterday, he was an American singer-songwriter, musician, record producer, arranger and bandleader. He was the founder of the band Earth, Wind & Fire. He was also the older brother of current Earth, Wind & Fire member Verdine White, and former member Fred White. Maurice served as the band's main songwriter and record producer, and was co-lead singer along with Philip Bailey. White won seven Grammys, and was nominated for a total of twenty-one Grammys.

White was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the late 1980s, which led him eventually to stop touring with Earth, Wind & Fire in 1994. However, White retained executive control of the band, and remained active in the music business. He died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson's disease at his home in Los Angeles, California either late February 3 or on the morning of February 4, 2016 at the age of 74. He is survived by his wife, his two sons, and his brothers Verdine and Fred.

Expect his music here the coming weeks

Today's artists are an American R&B singing group from Oakland, California, that achieved mainstream success during the 1970s and 1980s. Spanning over three decades, their repertoire has included such diverse genres as pop, disco, jazz, electronic music, bebop, blues, soul, funk, dance, country and rock.  ... N'joy

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As children in West Oakland, the Pointer sisters and brothers were encouraged to listen to and sing gospel music by their parents Reverend Elton Pointer and Sarah Pointer. However, they were told rock and roll and the blues were "the devil's music", and it was only when they were away from their watchful parents that they could sing these styles. They regularly sang at the Church of God in Christ in West Oakland, but as the sisters grew older their love of other styles of music began to grow. When June, the youngest sister, brought home a copy of the Elvis Presley record All Shook Up, she was surprised that her mother allowed her to play it, until discovering that her mother had been pacified by the song "Crying in the Chapel" on the "B" side of the record.

After leaving school Ruth, the oldest sister, was already married with two children Faun (born 1965) and Malik (born 1966), Anita, the second oldest sister, also was married with a child Jada. Bonnie, the third oldest sister, and June sought a show business career and they formed a duo, "Pointers, A Pair". Later, Anita quit her job to join the group. They began touring and performing and provided backing vocals for artists such as Grace Slick, Sylvester James, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop, and it was while supporting Bishop at a nightclub appearance in 1971, that the sisters were signed to a recording contract with Atlantic Records. The resulting singles that came from their Atlantic tenure failed to become hits but, nevertheless, the sisters were enjoying their newfound recording career. The temptation to join them finally overwhelmed Ruth and, in December 1972, she joined the group. The quartet signed to Blue Thumb Records and began to record their first full-fledged album.

Upon signing, they agreed that they did not want to follow the current trend of pop music but wanted to
create an original sound that combined jazz music, jazz singing, and be-bop music. In searching of a visual style for their act, they remembered the poverty of their childhood and their ability to improvise, and used their experience to assemble a collection of vintage 1940s clothes from thrift shops, that would comprise their costumes and give them the distinctive look they were searching for.

In 1972, they were asked to record "Pinball Number Count" for a series of educational cartoons teaching kids how to count. It made its debut on Sesame Street in 1977 and was a feature on the show for many years. They made their television debut performance at the Troubadour nightclub in Los Angeles on The Helen Reddy Show. In 1974 they joined Reddy on the track "Showbiz" which appeared on her "Free and Easy" album. Their self-titled first album, was released in 1973 and received positive reviews, with the group being lauded for their versatility and originality. The group was backed up at this time by Bay Area stalwarts, the Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. The first single from this album, "Yes We Can Can", reached number 11 on the pop charts, and would go on to establish itself as an R&B classic. The Allen Toussaint penned song had been a small R&B hit for Lee Dorsey in 1970. The album's second single was a cover of Willie Dixon's Blues stomper "Wang Dang Doodle". It reached the R&B top 40 and the group's thrift shop style began to catch on with fans, many of whom would attend their shows in similar attire.

The following year they released their second album titled That's a Plenty. It continued in the jazz and be-bop style of its predecessor but provided one exception that caused a great deal of interest. The song "Fairytale", written by Anita and Bonnie, was a country song that reached #13 on the pop charts, and #37 on the country charts. Based on this success, the group was invited to Nashville, Tennessee where they achieved the singular distinction of becoming the first black female singers to perform at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1975, the quartet won a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Fairytale". Anita and Bonnie were also nominated as songwriters for the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. The song would later be covered by Elvis Presley.

Their third album, Steppin' was released in 1975. Steppin' produced their Grammy-nominated number one
R&B single, "How Long (Betcha' Got a Chick on the Side)", which was sampled by female rap icons Salt-N-Pepa a decade later. The Pointer Sisters also scored another R&B hit from the album with "Going Down Slowly", another Allen Toussaint cover, and in 1976 appeared in the classic blaxploitation film Car Wash. Their song from the movie, "You Gotta Believe", made the R&B top 20 in early 1977. They were featured on the 1977 album Saffo Music by Italian R&B singer Lara Saint Paul and produced by Leon Ware, with bass by Chuck Rainey, guitar by Ray Parker Jr. and mixed by Bill Conti.[3] It was released in Italy under LASAPA records. Their last album as a quartet was the jazz/funk album Having a Party, released in 1977. Though this album neither produced any major hits nor had strong sales, it did feature the Bonnie-led "Don't It Drive You Crazy", which would become a cult hit in the UK as part of the rare groove phenomenon.

By 1977 both June and Bonnie had left the group. June wanted to take a break, and Bonnie left to start a solo career. Bonnie married Motown Records producer Jeffrey Bowen in 1978. She subsequently signed a contract with Motown and this led to a brief, moderately successful, solo career. Her first self-titled album produced the disco song "Heaven Must Have Sent You". The album was produced by Berry Gordy and husband Jeffrey Bowen. The song became a top 20 pop hit in September 1979. On 22 January 1978 Ruth gave birth to her second daughter and, now a duo, Ruth and Anita cut back their schedules and concentrated on raising their families. They began talking about the future of the group and what direction it should take. They agreed to dispense with the 1940s nostalgia and go in a contemporary direction. In July of that year June married William Oliver Whitmore II. The two sisters then signed a deal with producer Richard Perry's Planet Records, which was distributed by Elektra Records. After contributing guest vocals on the group's cover of Sly Stone's "Everybody Is A Star" June was persuaded to return to the group, making it a trio. With Perry the trio began working on an album of West Coast soft rock, which was released in 1978 with the title Energy. The first single, a cover version of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire", climbed to #2 on the US singles charts in early 1979, and a third Allen Toussaint cover, "Happiness", also charted.

In 1979 the trio released an album with a harder-edged rock sound entitled Priority, and though it was not a huge commercial success it received very positive critical reviews and further strengthened the group's reputation for being versatile. Over the next few years they achieved their greatest commercial success and continued to demonstrate their versatility. In 1980 the soulful pop single, "He's So Shy", reached number three on the charts, and the following year a slow, sultry ballad, "Slow Hand", reached number two. The follow-up, "Should I Do It" was classic girl-group. Richard Perry then switched distribution of Planet to RCA Records in 1982. The first release from this new union was "American Music", a patriotic-themed, modernized take on the girl-group sound while "I'm So Excited" was an influential, exuberant dance track. All these singles were significant hits in the US and were also successful in Australia, where all but "American Music" reached the Top 20.

In 1983, the Pointer Sisters released what became their biggest-selling album ever with Break Out. That year Ruth became a grandmother for the first time. With the advent of MTV the sisters were able to exploit their visual style and extend their audience. In 1984 they achieved four Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles in a row. "Automatic" reached #5; "Jump (for My Love)" reached #3; a remix of "I'm So Excited" was added to the album almost a year into its shelf life and reached #9; and another single from the album, "Neutron Dance", also featured on the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, reached #6.
"I Need You" had been the lead single from the album, and was a significant R&B hit, peaking at #13 on the Black Singles charts. The album's last single, "Baby Come And Get It", did well on the Black Singles charts too but missed cracking the pop Top 40 by a hair. (It would be brought to life again in the next millennium through its use in Burger King television commercials.) They received Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for "Jump (For My Love)", and Best Vocal Arrangement for Two or More Voices for "Automatic". These songs also followed "Slow Hand" into the UK Top 10, with "Automatic" peaking at number 2 in that country.

These Planet singles marked the end of their run of Top 10 hits in the US, with their subsequent RCA releases "Dare Me" in 1984 (the Sisters' last Australian Top 10 hit), and "Goldmine" in 1986, reaching numbers 11 and 33 respectively. In 1985 Ruth became a grandmother for the second time. The sisters eventually left RCA Records to record for Motown and then SBK, releasing several group albums and individual solo albums along the way, but these projects did not achieve the level of success of their earlier work.

In recent years the sisters have maintained a lower public profile but have continued to perform. Anita became a grandmother in 1990 when her only child Jada gave birth to Roxie. On September 8, 1990 Ruth married a man named Michael Sayles (born 1957). The sisters entertained US troops in the Persian Gulf in 1991 with Bob Hope. By 1991, June Pointer had ended her thirteen-year marriage to William Oliver Whitmore II. In August, 1993 at age 47 Ruth Pointer gave birth to twins Ali and Conor Sayles. In 1994, the Pointer Sisters were honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and began touring with a production of the Fats Waller-based musical Ain't Misbehavin'. In 1995 Pointer Sisters recorded "Feel for the Physical" as a duet with Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) for his album Souled. They were also one of the featured acts at the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics.

In 1995-96 the Pointer Sisters returned to their original jazzy incarnation touring nationally in Ain't Misbehavin'; during this tour issues with June Pointer came to the fore as June Pointer missed many performances - understudy Wendy Edmead replaced her on these occasions - and in 2002 Ruth Pointer's daughter Issa Pointer began performing with the Pointer Sisters in June Pointer's stead. On June 9, 2002 June Pointer and Bonnie Pointer performed as a duo on the bill at the San Jose Gay Pride Celebration the pair having been recruited by a promoter who had failed to recruit the official Pointer Sisters trio for the event: the June/Bonnie Pointer duo's appearance at San Jose Pride was promoted as a "Pointer Sisters" gig with pictures of June Pointer performing with Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer utilized in its promotion, causing Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer to sue the promoter and other affiliates of the June/Bonnie Pointer duo's San Jose Pride gig (neither Bonnie Pointer nor June Pointer was named in the suit). Bonnie Pointer and June Pointer subsequently performed as a duo at other Gay Pride celebrations and participated in the Get Up 'n' Dance disco music tour in the summer of 2003, the duo being officially billed as "Bonnie and June Pointer, formerly of the Pointer Sisters".

In 2004 Issa Pointer officially replaced June Pointer in the Pointer Sisters trio being featured on the live album The Pointer Sisters - Live in Billings recorded April 2004 at the Alberta Bair Theatre in Billings, Montana. The first studio recording by the Pointer Sisters to feature Issa Pointer was "Christmas in New York" for YMC Records www.ymcrecords.com recorded in the summer of 2005 for release for the multi-artist seasonal release Smooth & Soulful Christmas Collection on YMC Records: "Christmas in New York" afforded the Pointer Sisters their last appearance on a Billboard chart to date, the track reaching #21 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Christmas In New York was written by Nathan East and Chris Christian and produced by them. The group's next recording was a remake of the Eurythmics' "Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves" recorded with Natalia: this track spent sixteen weeks in the Top 20 of Belgium's Flemish chart from October 2005 with a peak of #2. In 2008 Anita Pointer and Ruth Pointer recorded the last Pointer Sisters album to date The Pointer Sisters Favorites consisting of remakes of ten of the group's biggest hits: recorded in response to the group's failure to receive royalties from the inclusion of any Pointer Sisters' hits on multi-artist hits compilations, "...Favorites" was sold exclusively at the group's live gigs and at the website ThePointerSisters.com, but was added to iTunes in 2013.

In November 2000, the sisters lost their mother Sarah; in 2003, sister Anita lost her only child Jada to cancer. Jada was the subject of the 1973 song "Jada". On April 11, 2006, June Pointer died of lung cancer.

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Sandwiched in between the heavy hitting Black and White and Break Out LPs, the Pointer Sisters' 1982 So Excited effort may not have managed the Top Ten, but impacted the scene nevertheless, as the group took three singles into charts that year. The opening, and best remembered track from the set, "I'm So Excited," delivered a punch-drunk, rapid fire snap straight into the dance clubs, following the marvelous, mid tempo swing song "American Music" up the charts with a combination of urgent beats and sassy harmony that fall. And, while these songs, along with chart mate "If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady" certainly merit their successes, there are several other moments on the album which actually prove more interesting. The Sue Shifrin penned "See How the Love Goes," which is hauntingly reminiscent of Peter Frampton's "Show me the Way," emerged a gorgeously melancholy melody that hovered somewhere between ballad and smooth groove and showcased Anita Pointer's lead vocals perfectly, while the sisters turned in a surprising cover of Prince's "I Feel for You" two years before Chaka Khan recorded what has become the definitive version. While it's true that the songs on So Excited pale markedly in comparison to the best of the Pointer Sisters' remarkable oeuvre, there are still plenty of unexpected guitar solos and heavy harmonies to snap heads to attention. Even in an off year, the group found themselves happily ensconced in the Top Twenty. That's no small feat.

The Pointer Sisters - So Excited  (flac 279mb)

01 I'm So Excited 3:50
02 See How The Love Goes 4:03
03 All Of You 4:00
04 Heart Beat 4:23
05 If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady 5:37
06 I Feel For You 3:58
07 Heart To Heart 3:30
08 American Music 4:01
Bonus Tracks
09 I'm So Excited (12" Remix) 5:36
10 If You Wanna Get Back Your Lady (12" Remix) 6:08

The Pointer Sisters - So Excited    (ogg 97mb)

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 Over the course of its U.S. chart life, "Break Out" was released in two distinctly different versions, each one with completely different catalogue numbers and different track listings. The first version of the album was released to the U.S. market in September of 1983 with "I Need You" as the lead single. This original version of the album included the song "Nightline" (originally intended for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" LP and then released in early 1983 by Ellen Foley and in spring 1983 by Randy Crawford) which would eventually be replaced by a remixed version of "I'm So Excited" (actually an edit of a previous 12" remix) on the second version that would come out in 1984.

"I Need You" was an adult contemporary hit but just barely cracked the U.S. top 40 at its peak. When the follow up singles "Automatic" and "Jump" both hit the top five on all three of the U.S. pop, R&B and dance charts, the album shot into the top ten and a second pressing was needed. This second (and more common) version of the album appeared in stores when "Jump" was at the peak of popularity at radio. On the new pressing, the order of the tracks was changed and "Jump" was renamed to "Jump (For My Love)" to match the way it was printed on the singles, which had added the "(For My Love)" to the title to help avoid confusion with the Van Halen song "Jump" which was also a hit at the same time. The change was a success: when Van Halen's version dropped from #1 to #2, the same week the Sisters' version moved up from #5 to #3, where it stayed for three weeks before being certified gold. On the second version of the album "Jump" is slightly remixed at the end while the timing has slightly changed from 4:22 to 4:26.

Single number four was a remixed version of "I'm So Excited" (which originally appeared on the Sisters' prior album So Excited!). The song had been a top 30 hit in its original form in 1982 but this remixed version went all the way to #9, was certified gold as well, and, along with the fifth and sixth singles, "Neutron Dance" and "Baby Come And Get It", helped to push "Break Out" to multi-platinum status, ultimately selling 4.5 million copies in the U.S. alone -- no small feat for a time when record sales were still being tabulated by hand.

The Pointer Sisters - Break Out  (flac 315mb)

01 Jump 4:26
02 Automatic 4:46
03 I'm So Excited 4:53
04 I Need You 4:01
05 Neutron Dance 4:13
06 Dance Electric 4:25
07 Easy Persuasion 4:34
08 Baby Come And Get It 4:19
09 Telegraph Your Love 4:01
10 Operator 4:00

The Pointer Sisters - Break Out   (ogg 99mb)

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It really does have some stand-out moments, and sounds better today than in 1986. Anita, June & Ruth all take their leads as usual. The most well known song is " Goldmine " sung by June, which is catchy, but wasn't as great as previous hit Pointer Sisters singles. " Sexual Power " sung by Anita and " Set Me Free " sung by Ruth are 2 of the best songs on here - very much in the dance/rock vein , with outstanding leads by each. " Set Me Free " is one of Ruth's best leads ever, and this song is the strongest one on here. It is great, filled with a pulsating beat, rock guitar solo and superb vocals - lead and background. " Hot Together " is also pretty good. Elsewhere, the sound is a mix of dance/rock/soul and there are some notable more experimental electronic new wave sounds on " Eyes Don't Lie ", " Taste " and " Say The Word ". There are more textures on this album than on the previous one " Contact"

All in all, it sounds better with time. They picked the wrong singles from it or RCA didn't promote them well enough. There are some strong album cuts that you must hear. Had the right songs been chosen as singles, it could have been another " Breakout ". It's stronger than " Contact " . Hey, it's the original Pointer Sisters in their heyday of the 80's! Hearing Ruth, Anita & June Pointer hot together really is a cherished sound in music. Definitely worth getting !

The Pointer Sisters - Hot Together  (flac 277mb)

01 My Life 4:14
02 Mercury Rising 4:34
03 Goldmine 3:51
04 All I Know Is The Way I Feel 4:43
05 Say The Word 3:37
06 Hot Together 4:14
07 Sexual Power 3:43
08 Set Me Free 4:53
09 Taste 4:56
10 Eyes Don't Lie 3:39

The Pointer Sisters - Hot Together (ogg  106mb)

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previously Jan 11, 2008 Into The Groove (13)

The Pointer Sisters - Live At The Opera House (ogg  165mb)

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